Share this article

print logo

Amherst board approves limits on big-box stores

The Amherst Town Board voted Monday night to limit big-box stores to corridors along Niagara Falls Boulevard and Transit Road, a move that could limit Wal-Mart's ability to build in other locations.

The measure prohibits construction or "reconstruction" of what it described as megastores -- any stores larger than 50,000 square feet -- with the exception of those locations.

It passed by a 5-2 vote with Councilmen William Kindel and Michael McGuire opposing.

Monday's resolution directed the town attorney, planning director and building commissioner to draft an ordinance within 30 days that the board can vote on to put the measure into effect. It also prohibits subdivision of any store into two smaller stores of 25,000 square feet closer than 500 feet of each other.

The resolution is the board's latest effort to deal with Wal-Mart's plan to build another store in Amherst.

The board last month voted unanimously to take steps to rezone 67 acres of property in north Amherst to prevent the retail giant from building a 200,000-square-foot superstore on Millersport Highway.

Some residents in the area oppose the plans and the changes it would bring to a largely rural part of the town. Much of the site at 4300 Millersport is also in a flood plain.

Jeffrey Palumbo, who represents Cimato Development Co., the current owner of the site, said at that meeting the town was exposing itself to a lawsuit it would likely lose.

Wal-Mart filed plans with the Planning Board in January to build a superstore on about 21 acres of the site alongside Millersport north of the Lockport Expressway.

The company already has a superstore on Transit Road, about six miles from the Millersport site, and it has been trying for several years to establish another in a shopping center on Transit Road in Lockport.

It also has a store on Niagara Falls Boulevard.


There are no comments - be the first to comment