Charter Oaks & Chappelle Villas


A Beautiful Place To Call My Home

Welcome Home

The Charter Oaks and Chappelle Villas Condominiums, which are located at 210 Charter Oaks Drive in Amherst, NY, provides beautiful suburban living within minutes to local shopping, eating and other community venues and is within walking distance to the
University at Buffalo.

Charter Oaks and Chappelle Villas Condominiums offer great resident amenities including a swimming pool, tennis court and even a clubhouse which has a kitchen, television and a small library. It can be booked for private parties, but is open for the use of residents when not reserved.

History Of Our Complex

In 1968 Amherst was a quiet rural town. Niagara Falls Boulevard and Maple Road were each two-lane thoroughfares with minimal commercial development. Skinnersville Road was a sleepy country road with 10 houses, a riding stable, and a radio station with a broadcasting tower. The only things this section of Amherst had going for it were the newly constructed Boulevard Mall, two movie theaters and the University of Buffalo campus, which had just recently begun construction. Caldwell Development and Marc Equity (two developers in the area) thought this was an up and coming area and decided to build some apartments on Skinnersville Road, that sleepy little country lane to nowhere.

By 1969, some houses were moved; the radio station and tower were gone, as were some of the older houses and the horse barn. In their place were 6 buildings of townhouses and three buildings of garden style apartments, with many more to come. Eventually, 220 units of 1 and 2 bedroom garden units and 2 and 3 bedroom townhouses were built on the former riding stable and grounds.


It was about this time that the concept of condominiums was beginning to enter the housing market. The developers had made a success out of converting a sister complex, Oakbrook Apartments, into condominiums in 1976. In 1977, the developers started making some needed repairs and upgrades to the buildings and grounds anticipating the conversion process for Charter Oaks Apartments as well. Existing tenants were given the option of purchasing their units at a reduced price. By October of 1978 enough apartments had been sold to satisfy the legal requirements and Charter Oaks became a condominium.

Condominiums have since become a normal part of residential life in Western New York, but back in 1978 there was no support mechanism to teach the homeowners how to govern their complex. The first few Boards relied heavily on the management expertise of Betsy Runfola. Luckily, she had managed the apartment complex prior to conversion and was familiar with running the complex. They also relied on the maintenance and repair knowledge of Michael Fletcher who had started work at Charter Oaks in 1973 and continues to this day. Together they all stumbled through the learning process of budgets, rules, meetings, committees, legal matters, insurance and the like. Together they have survived spats, name calling, gadflies, and periodic indifference as well as enjoying the camaraderie of fellow minded homeowners who wish to make their complex a peaceful and wonderful place to live.


When Charter Oaks was built the original property contained provisions for another 164 apartments. They were never built. When the conversion to condominiums occurred the developer had to form an umbrella association, because New York State’s real estate law did not allow for an expandable condominium. One section of the vacant land eventually became Chappelle Villas Condominiums and they joined the Association. The developer of the other section of the vacant land chose not to join the Association when he built what is now Beacon Park Condominiums. The Association cares for all the land and the amenities in the complex. The Condominiums (Charter Oaks and Chappelle Villas) are responsible for all their building expenses. This situation does make for an unusual but highly workable situation, quite unique in Western New York. There are other Associations in the area (Audubon and Ransom Oaks), but they mostly contain single family homes.

Charter Oaks and Chappelle Villas are not on a main thoroughfare in the Town of Amherst. Traveling downtown or out of town was an excursion just to get to an interstate. No longer. In the early 80’s the 1-990 was built with an exit ramp just two blocks away on Sweethome Road. Close enough for the convenience of easy motoring but far enough away not to hear the constant din of high speed traffic.


Over the years Charter Oaks and Chappelle Villas have seen as diverse a quality of resident as anywhere in Western New York. We have had Buffalo Braves living here (yes, we once had an NBA team in Buffalo), Buffalo Bills (second string only), Playboy Bunnies (looked like first string to me), a Prince of Qatar (he shipped his Monte Carlo home after leaving UB), policemen (Erie County Sheriff, Buffalo cops and Amherst cops), a survivor of Hitler’s concentration camps as well as one who escaped the Killing Fields of Pol Pot’s regime, émigré’s from USSR, China, Hungary, Austria, Viet Nam, Japan, India, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Italy, France, Canada, Germany, and Lackawanna. Some have stayed and made our complex their home and some have found it to be a peaceful way station on their way to other locations in America.

By and large, the majority of the residents are just normal everyday working people. We have had lawyers, hairdressers, doctors, plumbers, architects, foundry workers, dentists, secretaries, probation officers, pilots, teachers, car salesmen, mechanics, security directors, executives in the health care industry, laborers, university professors, accountants, insurance salesmen, musicians, personal trainers, couch potatoes, football fans, ballet lovers, travelers with wanderlust, and gardeners. The list could go on and on, but the one thing they have in common is a desire to live in a pleasant, pretty, and well run condominium. They have found it here at Charter Oaks and Chappelle Villas.


Charter Oaks has aged well. The Board has seen to it that programs have been started to upgrade and meet the repair needs of the buildings. Every summer workers attack the buildings to repair the ravages that thirty years have wrought on the buildings. The Condominiums have welcomed new technology and materials to keep the buildings in good shape. Rubber has replaced the old tar and tarpaper roofs, guaranteeing years of trouble free protection. The interiors of the old chimneys are being relined with insulated pipes to accommodate the needs of the new more energy efficient furnaces. The newly perfected concrete boards are being installed in place of the old smooth primed hardboard siding. The roadways’ lives are being extended through the use a stabilizing mat when the roads are blacktopped.

Charter Oaks was blessed with plenty of green space when it was first built. Not every square inch was covered with buildings and blacktop. There are grassy expanses in front of many buildings. There are grassy knolls behind other buildings onto which some trees were planted. Each building had shrubs planted along its’ front. During conversion the developer planted additional trees along the roads and behind buildings. Since then constant work has been done to further enhance the landscape qualities of the complex. Different tree and shrub varieties have been planted to replace other varieties which have not thrived. An effort has been made to plant trees and shrubs of different texture, color, and shape. The Board encourages the homeowners to make their own improvements to the areas surrounding their patios and decks.


Ellicott Creek runs past the rear of the complex. This slow moving tree lined creek used to be a torrent when the spring thaws came. There are now flood diversion canals along the creek which have eliminated the threat of high water levels and allowed the complex to get rid of the expense of required flood insurance for our buildings. Ellicott Creek is nothing more than a pleasant place to watch the water flow by and perhaps try to catch a fish or two.

The quality of life in the complex is given a huge boost by the amenities. There is a large community building which the residents can rent out for their parties. It has a full kitchen and is pleasantly appointed with comfortable furniture and plenty of chairs and tables. On the second Tuesday of each month the Board meeting takes place in this room. The social committee sponsors periodic parties for the residents. The summer cookout is a big hit, as is the annual holiday party in December. Directly attached to the clubhouse is the pride and joy of many of our residents – the pool. Whether it’s for swimming laps, baking in the sun, or cooling off on a hot day, the pool is the center of activity from Memorial Day till Labor Day. Next to the pool is our tennis court, where many others seek their favorite form of fun.

Resident Amenities

Swimming Pool
Tennis Court
Clubhouse (Kitchen, TV & Small Library)
Basic Cable (Charter Oaks Only)
Pet Friendly!

Contact Us

Interested in living at Charter Oaks and
Chappelle Villas Condominiums? Give us a call or
send us a message!

(716) 688-9333 or