Planning Board would like to review proposed addition to County Administration Building

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 November 2017 at 9:43 am

ALBION – The Orleans County Planning Board would like to see the final plans for a proposed 22,000-square-foot addition to the County Administration Building.

Municipalities tend to be exempt from getting local reviews and approvals from other municipalities for building projects. While the county doesn’t need Planning Board approval, members of the board said a review could result in a better project.

“I truly believe when we have these discussions, and sometimes they are vigorous discussions, that we get a better product in the end,” said Ron Vendetti, a member of the board representing the Village of Holley.

Planning Board Chairman Brian Napoli brought up the issue during Thursday’s Planning Board meeting.

“They’re expanding the building,” Napoli said. “Shouldn’t we see the plan?”

The 17-member Planning Board reviews projects around the county for new buildings, additions, zoning changes and other land use matters.

“It’s kind of a double standard,” Napoli said. “They make zoning ordinances for everyone else.”

This rendering from Wendel shows a proposed 22,000-square-foot addition to the County Administration Building.

Vendetti, in his role as Albion code enforcement officer, said some recent projects in the village were exempt from his input, including projects at the school district and the new bus garage on county-owned land on West Academy Street.

Having another professional look over the plans could save significant money later if a mistake is caught before construction, Vendetti said.

“There is a lot of experience and expertise on this board,” Vendetti said. “I think we put a better product out when we sit here and talk about it.”

The Orleans County Legislature has approved a maximum bond of $10,063,881 for an addition to the County Administration Building on Route 31, behind the nursing home. The Public Health Department, Board of Elections and other county offices will be relocated to the new addition.

Jim Bensley, director of the county’s Department of Planning and Development, said he would talk with county legislators about having the project go before the Planning Board for a review.

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