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The quarters will be more cramped than originally planned, but Charlie the Butcher is moving into East Aurora.

The restaurant chain's plan was approved as part of an expansion of the Noco gas stop and convenience store Monday night.

The Village Board approved the expansion with two 4-2 votes. One decided the developers didn't have to go through a more detailed environmental review, and the other vote approved the development plan and a special permit for a restaurant.

In both votes, Elizabeth Cheteny and Heidi Potenza were the dissenters. Mayor David DiPietro abstained.

"My main reservation was the fact that it's in one of the most heavily pedestrian areas of the village and a lot of schoolchildren go by there every day," said Cheteny.

"I was very disappointed with the vote," she said. "Not only did we have the legal tools to deny the zoning . . . We didn't use what we had available to do what the community came out and said they wanted us to do. They came to something like seven meetings in force."

The approvals let Noco expand its location at 495 Main St. by 970 square feet. Original plans called for a 1,500-square-foot expansion.

The board imposed some concessions on the developer, requiring that an additional 10 1/2 -foot strip of green space be included at the back of the property and that barricades be put up on one parking lot entrance when most children are going to and from nearby Main Street School.

The project still could face some legal challenges. Arthur Giacalone, an attorney for the project's opponents, said Tuesday that he hadn't had a chance to discuss options with his clients yet but that "there seems to be some real basis for challenging the decisions that were made last night."

"Two of the four trustees who voted for (approval) claimed they had tossed and turned in their sleep over it," Giacalone said. "I can't help but think if they found it that troubling they could have erred on the side of caution."

The project's opponents have said that they felt it would detract from the mid-Main Street area's character and that increased traffic would be dangerous to young pedestrians.

DiPietro said he felt the review process had worked, although a vocal contingent may have disagreed with the decisions.

"The people were heard," he said. "We had meetings that were going to 11 o'clock or midnight. Everyone was able to speak. I wanted to make sure everyone was heard, no matter what side they were on."

The building in question has been a convenience store/gas station for close to 30 years. It was a Cumberland Farms until Noco bought it in the early 1990s. Tim Boyle, the director of real estate development for Noco, said the company's goals "were to bring an older store up to date and expand our grocery offerings."


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