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The Clarence Planning Board approved the concept plan Wednesday night for a new BJ's Wholesale Club in Eastgate Plaza, but the filling station that developers want to accompany the outlet will have to wait.

Benderson Development wants to construct a BJ's Wholesale Club and filling station at 5033 Transit Road, on the north end of the plaza. The 108,000-square-foot building would follow the same architectural designs as other businesses located there. Plans include a 30-foot buffer along the north side of the project, along with a 6-foot berm and trees.

The site plan originally was to be a Tops supermarket, but Tops decided to remain at Transit and Maple roads, said Benderson attorney Anthony J. Renaldo.

Though board members approved the concept plan, they also directed Benderson to meet with the state Department of Transportation regarding the potential impact on traffic flow.

Planning Board Chairman Harold K. Frey read from an April 1996 letter from the DOT stating that developers are responsible for a new traffic study in projects of such scope.

"You need to discuss this with them before development plan approval to see if you'll be required to install a driveway access to Greiner Road," Frey said.

According to Renaldo, Benderson is not seeking a new driveway.

Regardless, the Planning Board directed developers to meet with the DOT to determine whether a new access road is needed.

Also during the meeting, Benderson requested a special-use permit to install a six-pump fueling station at the store, but the matter was referred to the municipal review committee for an environmental study because the gas pumps were not included in the original environmental review, Frey said.

The fueling station would provide BJ's members with fuel prices 6 to 10 cents cheaper than other stations in the area, but nonmembers would not be turned away, either, said Paul S.R. Brickman, BJ's assistant vice president. They would be charged an average 6 to 10 cents per gallon more than members.

The station would have six tanks for a total of 12 fueling areas and a 12-foot canopy with a 6-foot berm to the north of the site, and all traffic would enter and exit from parking area or the bermed area.

If approved, the BJ's fueling station would be the third such outlet in the Buffalo area, Brickman said.

"We have six locations in Western New York, and we're adding them where we can," Brickman said.

When polled, board members agreed that they probably would accept the special-use permit if it returns with a favorable environmental review.

The project is to go before the Municipal Review Committee on March 5.

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