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Expansion to ambulatory surgery center on Sheridan Drive gets Amherst Town Board’s approval

A $9 million expansion to an ambulatory surgery center on Sheridan Drive won approval from the Town of Amherst on Monday.

The Amherst Town Board rezoned 1.1 acres so Excelsior Orthopaedics can build a new, larger home for its growing Buffalo Surgery Center on its Sheridan Drive campus.

There were, however, some objections.

The Amherst Central School District asked the Town Board to hold off making a decision in light of an ongoing legal battle with Excelsior over taxes and assessed value of its property.

Council Member Ramona D. Popowich and Supervisor Barry A. Weinstein also wanted to delay the vote on the project, but the rest of the board decided the litigation was a separate issue. The board ultimately voted 4-1 in favor, with Popowich the lone no vote.

Excelsior and Matrix Development plan to build a one-story, 27,960-square-foot structure on the southwest corner of their property at 3915 Sheridan Drive, just west of Harlem Road.

The building would be three times larger than Buffalo Surgery Center’s existing practice at 3925 Sheridan and would house clinical and surgical services in orthopedics, pain management and ophthalmology. Gastroenterology services also would be added.

Meanwhile, the move into the new facility would free up more space for exam rooms and other clinical services at Excelsior’s current building.

Besides rezoning the property to office from residential, the Town Board granted relief from requirements for green space and minimum setbacks from neighboring homes – two conditions that were put in place in 2003 when the first Excelsior building was approved.

“We appreciate the neighbors were willing to engage in productive dialogue that lead to a successful outcome,” said Sean W. Hopkins, attorney for the developer.

In other business, the board scheduled a June 1 decision date to rezone a former airfield in the northwest corner of town for a new subdivision.

M.J. Peterson-Airport LLC wants to develop 137 homes on 34 acres of vacant land at 271 Tonawanda Creek Road. More than 20 acres of adjacent land, that would consist of wetlands, would be given to the town by the developers.

M.J. Peterson is looking to start construction in the fall, then phase in the development over the next four years, concluding in 2019.

The property was the former County Line Airport, a private airfield that opened in April 1945 and sold to a developer 20 years later when it failed to receive government funding, according to the website “Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields.”

email: jrey@buffnews.com