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City reviews subdivision plan

March 3, 2010
By MICHAEL ANICH, The Leader-Herald

JOHNSTOWN - The city Planning Board on Tuesday delayed a decision on an application for a subdivision at the former Lee Dyeing building on North Perry Street, where a contracting business is trying to set up shop.

Board members said they need more information before making a decision.

"We need to have a complete picture of the use of the land because that's what we're asking for," said City Engineer Chad Kortz, a board member.

Article Photos

The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich

Engineer Charles Ackerbauer, standing, reviews a proposed subdivision on North Perry Street with the Johnstown Planning Board on Tuesday at City Hall.

Local engineer Charles Ackerbauer presented the application for the proposed Lee Dyeing building subdivision. He said he represents building owner Morris Evans of Johnstown, who was in New York City and couldn't attend.

"He wanted me to see how the board felt about subdividing the property," Ackerbauer said.

He said the Lee Dyeing building is empty except for an upstairs office that Evans - owner of Merrimac Leasing Corp. at 328 N. Perry St. - would retain. The company provides rental equipment.

Ackerbauer said Evans indicated someone dealing with Evans wants to buy part of the Lee Dyeing operation adjacent to Miller Street.

He said the person also is a prospective buyer of the Dixie Station restaurant. Some of that property would be turned into an office for a contracting business, Ackerbauer said. He said there is an issue with some heating tanks that may have to be removed.

Ackerbauer said parking is available in that area, including on the southeast corner of the lot. He said most of the equipment at the former Lee Dyeing plant has been "stripped out."

The application didn't include a narrative that spelled out exactly what the venture entails, leading board Chairman Peter Smith and City Attorney Susan Palmer Johnson to ask for more information.

"Sue and I have expressed a concern as to what type of contractor is going in there," Smith said.

Kortz added, "I think we have to have that context for the SEQR [State Environmental Quality Review], too."

Smith said the Planning Board members and Miller Street residents will want to know what type of contractor might move into the area, which is zoned industrial but is surrounded by residential properties, including many single-family homes.

He reminded the board it has not been receiving narratives for all of its recent applications.

"This is a shining example," said board member Ruth B. White.

Smith suggested the board in the future not put applications on its agenda unless they include detailed narratives.

Michael Anich can be reached at



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