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Representatives of the school district and business community spoke in favor of a commercial rezoning of the Niagara Falls High School property Wednesday, but members of the public all opposed the move, which would result in the demolition of the 75-year-old landmark.

Eight residents spoke against the rezoning during the hourlong public hearing held by the Planning Board, and others said they would submit written protests. About 30 persons attended the hearing. Harold Faba, chairman of the board, said comments should be submitted in the next few days. He said the board probably would make a decision on the request at its next meeting on Sept. 22.

The rezoning is being requested by Benderson Development Co. Benderson has a sales contract with the school district to buy the property if the rezoning is approved. The company has submitted a site plan for a 22,000-square-foot, one-story retail center surrounded by parking on all four sides.

Former Mayor Jacob A. Palillo suggested with Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center across the street, a hospital clinic, such as the Cleveland Clinic, concentrating on certain medical specialities could be started. And, with the casino in Niagara Falls, Ont., he suggested the inclusion of a clinic to treat gambling addiction would be a natural.

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