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Plans for new building unveiled by two Lockport veterans groups

LOCKPORT -- Two veterans organizations unveiled plans for a new building at a city Planning Board meeting Monday.

The board approved the concept for the new structure, to be erected next to the existing Navy-Marine Club on Park Avenue.

However, board members told Albert R. Brandt Jr., attorney for the organizations, that they need to see detailed plans for lighting, landscaping and signs.

Navy Ship 110, an organization of former sailors, and the Lockport Devil Dog Detachment, a group of Marine Corps veterans, share space at the Navy-Marine Club and will continue to do so in the new building.

Brandt said the new building will go up in the parking lot of the current clubhouse. The existing building will be demolished once the new one is complete, he told the board.

The plan calls for a one-story, 46-by-115-foot building with 18 parking spaces. It actually offers less square footage than the current structure, but Brandt said keeping everything on one floor is key to the concept.

"Veterans get old. They can't do the stairs," Brandt told the board. The current Navy-Marine Club is two stories.

Checking renderings of the proposed building, board members observed that the new building will have no windows or landscaping.

"The windows in the old one are all covered up. There's no need for the windows," Brandt said. "Bushes are not a good idea for security."

Board member Julie Muscato replied, "But they are a good idea for looking nice for our city."

Brandt said he couldn't see much opportunity for landscaping, since the front of the building will rest only a foot from the city right of way. "Our flagpole is in the right of way," he said.

Cynthia Hinton, secretary to the board, said variances in this case would be transferable. The club owns both lots, which are 66 feet wide by 165 feet deep. The one now used for parking was once the site of Planning Board member Brian D. Bower's insurance agency.

Besides city approval, the consent of the Niagara County Planning Board also is needed. The building site in the club parking lot is next to the parking lot for the county's Philo J. Brooks Building. They are separated by a chain-link fence.

e-mail: tprohaska@buffnews.com

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