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Neighbors fight warehouse plan

Several residents objected at Tuesday's Common Council meeting to plans for a warehouse on a former junkyard near their homes.

Angelo Caizza, owner of Campobello Construction of the Town of Tonawanda, said he wants to buy the vacant parcel at 128 Ironton St., and build a one-story warehouse with an office.

An initial site plan has been submitted to the Planning Commission.

"It's going to tear the community down," said Stanley Woloszyn, a longtime resident of Center Avenue. "Ironton Street will not be able to handle that type of traffic."

Woloszyn said he can see the property from his backyard and is worried that if the site plan is approved, his neighborhood will be burdened by noisy trucks.

But Caizza, reached after the meeting by telephone, said he mainly uses small trucks and said traffic would be minimal.

He also pointed out that he shuts down the business during the winter.

"We don't go back and forth too much," he said. "We'll be quiet for the neighbors."

Caizza said he plans to spend $150,000 to purchase the land and build a 70- by 70-foot warehouse.

"They should be pleased with it because the way it is now, it's a dump," Caizza said. "It will improve the area and increase tax revenue."

The site plan would require a variance because the current zoning requires a 75-foot front yard setback, and Caizza has requested a 53-foot setback, according to Planning Commissioner Clerk Thomas M. Jaccarino.

Caizza has asked the commission for conceptual approval before he has official architectural drawings made, but did not attend Monday's Planning Commission meeting where the request was considered.

He said Tuesday he had never been notified about the meeting.

But many residents of that neighborhood attending the meeting said several commissioners and Assistant City Attorney Robert Sondel listened to their concerns and gave them some options.

Deborah Gondek, who does not live in the neighborhood but attended the meeting, said residents were told they could ask the Council to rezone the parcel if they get a majority of nearby residents to sign a petition.

The property currently is zoned for industrial use, which would allow a warehouse, but they asked Council members to consider a change to residential.

While Council members did not say whether they would support that, 2nd Ward Alderman Kevin Brick said he would oppose any use that would be "incompatible with the neighborhood."

Also Tuesday, the Council unanimously approved a resolution submitted by Council President Brett M. Sommer that asks Gov. Eliot L. Spitzer to encourage Daniel Gunderson, his appointee as upstate chairman of the Empire State Development Corp., to move to Western New York.

Gunderson currently lives in Saratoga Springs.


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