Zoning board to consider variance for cold storage facility

Pictured is the proposed site, located at 320 Roberts Road, for the cold storage facility.

A new development’s first step for local approval will take place Tuesday when the Dunkirk Zoning Board will vote on an area variance for the cold storage facility proposed for 320 Roberts Road.

Cleanup of the brownfield site and the need from local ice cream manufacturer, Fieldbrook Foods, for cold storage have come together for this project.

However, plans exceed the dimensions allowed by city zoning code, necessitating a visit to the zoning board Tuesday at 5 p.m. in city hall. The law states a building can be no taller than 40 feet, however, plans seek 52-foot building with some portions as tall as 65 feet.

“It’s not going to be the entire building,” Housing, Building and Zoning Officer Allan Zurowski explained of the taller portion. “That’s going to be just for the mechanical penthouses. There’s not large areas, it’s not the entire roof.”

“It will be a whole lot better looking,” he added.

The project itself has changed locations and developers, but Dunkirk’s Development Department has been involved since the beginning because of the positive economic impact it stands to make in the city.

“As far as how this impacts Fieldbrook Foods, it is a step in the right direction. They will be able to take a large portion of where they already house the cold storage in their facility and be able to create a space for a new production line within their facility. Also they’ll have a bigger cold storage facility off site that can store more product and increase the capacity at the facility so that can lead to new jobs in the future. It’s a win-win for Fieldbrook, for the city, the county and for everyone in regard to cleanup of the site,” Development Director Rebecca Yanus said. “The new developers now are Krog and they know brownfield sites, they know what tax incentives and tax credits they’re going to get, so we’re really happy that we’re working with Krog on this project. The original developers had the best intentions, but I think that this New York state firm of developers understand the process better.”

Earlier this month the project received positive feedback at a public hearing for financial assistance from the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency, which will vote on it at its Feb. 27 meeting. The 71,400 square-foot building project is expected to bring at least 25 jobs to the city.

The project will also go before the planning board in March.

The zoning board will also hear the appeal of Dr. Troy Sasse to establish a medical practice and physical therapy practice at 23-25 Lake Shore Drive E. The building on the corner with Washington Avenue is zoned for warehouse/light manufacturing and will therefore need a use variance for professional/office space. The building also does not have the required amount of parking, but is located near the municipal lot. Sasse and his wife Jolie Mandell are looking to move their Lakeside Medical Care and Bodywerks physical therapy businesses from Angola and would occupy the first floor office space of the building.