The developer of the condominium townhouse project is expected to appeal

VICTOR — After four years of back and forth, nay votes prevailed Tuesday as Town Planning Board members nixed plans for a long-debated 62-unit condominium townhouse project at 995 County Road 9. The project would have been part of a 78-unit complex that stretches across town and village lines.

While residents are happy, Planning Board Chair Ernie Santoro said he fully expects the project developer to formally appeal the decision in New York State Supreme Court, 7th Judicial District, within the next 30 days.

The Gullace project, formally known as Lynaugh Road Properties LLC, has drawn fire in recent years from residents who cite traffic issues, density complaints and general incongruity with existing neighborhoods. In that time the project has undergone five site plan revisions, two negative SEQRA declarations, multiple traffic and environmental studies, two public hearings lasting a combined nine months, and reviews by the village of Victor and the Ontario County Planning Board.

After brief discussion, two affirmative votes came from Santoro and Vice Chair Joe Logan. Casting negative votes were Richard Seiter, Al Gallina and Heather Zollo.

“I’m glad we got a vote one way or another,” said Santoro, looking back at the board’s Sept. 11 meeting when the resolution floundered and was tabled for lack of a second to the motion.

Lynaugh Road Properties LLC now has the option of filing an Article 78 appeal with the New York State Supreme Court for Ontario County challenging the legality of the board’s decision.

“We fully anticipate that they will,” said Santoro. “The court could send it back for further review. They could send it back with comments and requirements, they could change the whole thing based on what the developer asked for on their application, they could make additions, make it better, make it worse. And that’s what we’re looking at.”

The current site plan includes 62 for-sale condominium townhouses in two-, three- and four-unit blocks in the town of Victor, and 16 single-family homes in the village of Victor. The proposed project is flanked by Lynaugh Road and Church Street/County Road 9, north of Route 96, and would be completed in four phases.

Church Street resident Ryan McElhiney is a regular at meetings when the Gullace project is on the agenda. From his perspective, the board’s negative vote Tuesday was a win.

“I’m elated right now,” said the father of four. “I know it’s kind of kicking the can further down the road, and I know eventually something’s going to have to pass. Developers get to develop, but I think the Town Planning Board has been receptive to the people who have expressed their concern.”

Construction trucks from developments on Gillis Road and County Road 9 have just started tearing up and down Church Street and the speed is “just unbelievable,” said McElhiney, who along with his wife has a newborn, 2-year-old, 4-year-old and 6-year-old at home.

“Traffic’s one of the biggest concerns for us,” he said. “Just the change in the environment. We love the village because we have all these sidewalks and we’re able to get out and get around as a family.”

Victor resident Ruth Nellis, whose home is adjacent to the proposed project, said she was “both pleasantly surprised and thankful, knowing that the board has taken residents’ concerns into consideration.”

But there are many more that aren’t reflected in the resolution and she’s worried they won’t be addressed “should the project be approved and go ahead.”

“While this is a lengthy process, residents for many years to come will have to live with the decision,” she said. “What do we want Victor to become?”

If developers head for court, Nellis knows the resolution could come back “better or worse,” but she remains “guardedly optimistic.”

The next move will be up to the Gullace family and Lynaugh Road Properties LLC, who were unavailable for comment following Tuesday’s vote.

Whether the issue ends up in court or not, the sizeable chunk of prime real estate between Church Street and Lynaugh Road will likely see development of some kind before too long.

“They still own the property and they can make another application,” said Santoro. “They can start from scratch and it may look nothing like what’s on the table now. They’ll be back.”