A bigger and better Yellow Goose gas station may not be in the works for Reed Petroleum, owner of the current 10-year-old gas and retail station in Wales, according to gas station representative Tom Jaccarino.
Action by the Wales Town Board at a special meeting Tuesday evening may have "effectively killed the project," Jaccarino said.
The board has listened during two meetings to complaints of neighbors and residents about public urination, traffic problems, noise, strewn garbage, fights and abusive language at the gas station at Route 20A and Two Rod Road.
But a petition signed by 14 neighbors forced the need for a super majority vote of four to approve the plans. The board's roll-call vote was 3-2. with Supervisor Mary Weinman and Councilman Adrian Keem voting no.
Before the vote, various board members expressed their views.
Councilmen Robert Bragg, Keem and Raymond Poliseno said they could accept the proposal with restrictions governing lighting, berms, noise control, rest rooms, fencing and locked dumpster but without the proposed additional 1,600-square-feet of retail space.
Keem pushed for a turning lane to alleviate traffic congestion but Jaccarino said it was up to the state Department of Transportation to decide.
Most board members agreed that the conditions at the current station are horrible and that they would continue if a bigger store proposed by Reed Petroleum is not built.
Reed Petroleum has agreed to certain restrictions that should eliminate many of the problems neighbors complained of, but Jaccarino said, financially the company needs the extra retail space to make the project work.
Jaccarino said the Yellow Goose will stay around for the rest of its 20-year lease even if a new store is not approved.
Board members, in a separate roll-call vote, unanimously voted to table the proposal, leaving the door open for Reed Petroleum to come back with an amended plan.
The board voted, 5-0, to issue a negative declaration on the State Environmental Quality Review for the proposal.
In other business, a decision to allow residents to vote on whether the town should purchase the Kenneglenn Estates as a nature preserve for $290,000 contingent on its receiving a $160,000 grant from the sate Office of Parks and Recreation and Historical Preservation, was approved, 3-2. Poliseno and Keem voted against the referendum.
The Kenneglenn Estates occupy a 141-acre parcel on Strykersville Road and for generations the property was used by a prominent Buffalo family as its summer residence. According to Mrs. Weinman, the land includes a four-bedroom home and she compared it to a "Little Letchworth."
An aerial view of the parcel shows Hunters Creek winding through it with 350-foot cliffs and rolling meadows.
The Trust for Public Land negotiated the purchase option for the town. The appraised value, according to Mrs. Weinman, is $320,000.
Councilman Edmund Bogucki expressed concern that the town was "putting the park before the horse" but voted to give the voters the opportunity to decide. Keem said he was concerned about gas and maintenance costs.