Lockport master plan may allow development in Lafarge area - The Buffalo News
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Lockport master plan may allow development in Lafarge area

LOCKPORT – The town is about halfway done with its new master plan, Town Supervisor Marc R. Smith said at a Town Board session last week.

The town’s department heads were given working copies of the still-confidential plan last week and asked to submit comments by March 21.

Smith said, “We’re going to get it on the (town) website so people have a month to look at it before the first public meeting, which is May 14 at 7 p.m.”

Town Planner Andrew C. Reilly, of the Wendel engineering firm, displayed several maps from the plan. All but one, the “vision map,” showed the current conditions in the town: zoning, special district boundaries and so on.

But the vision map showed several “developing areas,” including a circle along Bear Ridge and Hinman roads and the Lockport Bypass.

The circle included the area around the Lafarge North America gravel and stone quarry. Lafarge has bought up property on the south side of Hinman Road with an eye toward expanding its quarry, which company officials expect will run out of usable material in a couple of years.

Residents have urged town officials to use the master plan and the subsequent zoning alterations to bar Lafarge’s expansion. They say their quality of life and their homes are being damaged by blasting at the quarry.

Other areas circled on the vision map as developable sites are to be considered what Reilly called “regional hamlets,” in which he said the state’s Regional Economic Development Councils have shown a preference toward funding.

Examples include “Chestnut Ridge,” a circled area centered on the intersection of Routes 31 and 77; “Akron-Lincoln,” around the intersection of Akron Road and Lincoln Avenue; Wrights Corners; and Rapids.

Much of eastern and southern Lockport is considered developing, while most of the northern part of the town is reserved for agriculture. Most of the area already is covered by protected agricultural districts.

The western part of the town could be a “growth corridor,” Reilly said. That area includes the town’s booming industrial park.

Reilly said the vision map is based in part on existing planning documents, including the county’s Niagara Communities Comprehensive Plan and the Erie-Niagara Regional Comprehensive Plan.

But Reilly told the board he likens a master plan to a cookbook. Implementation, he said, is the most important part.

“We haven’t made any decisions. We’re looking for input,” Reilly said. “We’re never going to get everyone to agree.”

email: tprohaska@buffnews.com

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