Tonawanda News — Residents filed in to Tonawanda City Hall Thursday night to learn about the proposed plans for the proposed housing development on Little League Drive.
Council President Carleton Zeisz announced the session earlier this month when the council adopted a resolution that allowed Mayor Ron Pilozzi to begin writing a contract with Natale Builders.
“We just felt it was important to share with the public whatever we do know,” Zeisz said.
Thursday night, he reviewed the current plans for the meeting attendees.
Two years of negotiations with the developer yielded some positive results for the city, he said. Natale will be responsible for the infrastructure costs at the site, which will include construction of sewer and water lines that will amount to a $1.8 million contribution by Natale. As a result, the city won’t see any upfront costs for the development, but will see an increased tax base after the homes are occupied.
Although Natale taking the responsibility for those costs is good news for the city’s taxpayers, Natale did want something in return — to label the homes as condominiums, under the state’s 339-Y status.
Per the state law, the 46 single-family homes will be assessed differently, and as a result, the residents who buy them will pay less in taxes — up to 40 percent less in property taxes than other homeowners.
The development will have a homeowners association that will be responsible for sewer maintenance, garbage pickup and street lights, among other day-to-day responsibilities — meaning despite paying more in taxes, other city homeowners won’t have to pick up the tab for servicing the development.
Natale will have to apply to the state attorney general for the development to be classified under 339-Y.
“This agreement wouldn’t have happened without them being able to apply for this incentive,” Zeisz said.