Residents wary of zone change bid by Marathon

WELLSVILLE – During a public hearing last week about a proposed zoning change, Village Council members heard from residents concerned about how it might affect their property values and whether it will increase truck traffic.

The Marathon Petroleum Company requested the change from residential to heavy industrial which will allow the company to construct a 3,000-square-foot office building on the property along Nevada Street. About 2,000 feet will be used for office space, and the rest will be used for trucks, according to officials.

Village zoning administrator Rick Williams explained the building will be constructed in the area which is already fenced in, and it was also noted that no new pumps or piping will be installed, nor will the zoning change result in any increased truck traffic.

Not all of Nevada Street will be impacted by the zoning change, it was emphasized, with the homes in the area remaining zoned residential.

Although Marathon officials were asked by a resident whether the company will take responsibility for maintaining the roadway if the zoning change is approved, a representative said he could not address that question.

He also said he could not address whether the zoning change and construction of the new office building would affect property values, but Mayor Susan Haugh said she would think such improvements would actually increase the values since it is cleaning up the area.

Another resident asked whether union labor will be used to construct the new building, but the Marathon representative could not answer her question.

A resident complained that he has asked the last three administrations about what is being developed in the Nevada Street area, to no avail, and Haugh said she has also tried to find out why property along the river has been bought up but can’t find out. Marathon also has not been able to find out, she said.

The 20-minute hearing concluded with no action taken by council on the zoning change.

In other matters, Williams said he has started assessing the cost of tear-downs for dilapidated structures on property owners’ taxes and that demolition will begin on some of those properties.

Animal control officer Heidi Pecorelli reported she has been busy with dog calls, including six animal cruelty cases. She issued a warning that she will be issuing citations for dogs running at large.

Administrator Thom Edgell said village employees and youth workers have been busy and have gotten a lot accomplished thus far this summer and have cut a lot of grass.

He expressed disappointment in the amount of trash that has been accumulating at the 18th Street Playground, saying, “They shouldn’t treat it like they do.”

Revitalization Committee chairman Candy Bangor reported that construction of the Pocket Park on Main Street is underway and asked whether council still intends to pay for the cost of lighting the facility.

Councilman Diane Dinch advised her that, if council voted to do so, it will, and advised her to speak with Edgell about getting the electric pole installed.