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Planned hotel in Town of Tonawanda may get trim to three stories

A hotel proposed for Niagara Falls Boulevard that nearby residents say is too tall for their neighborhood could be shrinking from four stories to three.

During a discussion about the project Monday night at the Tonawanda Town Board’s regular meeting, Councilman John A. Bargnesi Jr. said he met late last week with the developer and the architect of the planned 84-room Holiday Inn Express between Thistle and Forbes avenues.

“We left the meeting presuming that the plan is going to be presented to the franchise at three floors in the range of 40 feet,” Bargnesi said after the meeting.

Residents of adjacent Dexter Terrace have expressed privacy concerns over the hotel’s proposed four stories and 50-foot height. The town Planning Board earlier this month tabled a decision on those site plans until it is presented with alternative designs showing three stories.

The Holiday Inn corporate office would have to approve the revised plans presented by the developer, Chan Patel.

“They’re pitching a shorter building to them to see if (Holiday Inn) would take it,” Bargnesi told residents. “So that’s where we are right now, hoping that they’re going to come back to us and say, ‘OK, we can get the license for a shorter building.’ ”

Residents have said they would be satisfied with a three-story building that was 35 feet tall. Bargnesi said he expected new plans to be presented to the Planning Board for its next meeting in early June, if Holiday Inn gives the green light. Barngesi lauded Patel for his patience and accommodation during the more than two-year process to break ground on the project.

“They were very receptive,” Bargnesi said. “All Along, I’ve got to say, he has taken this very well. He has never gotten his dander up.”

Residents who filled Council Chambers also questioned whether the Town Board was considering a moratorium on buildings above a certain height along Niagara Falls Boulevard. The town attorney had told the Planning Board at its last meeting that the Town Board was considering a moratorium. But the issue was not discussed during Monday’s meeting.

“I don’t want to put a time frame on it, but it is under heavy consideration by the Town Board,” Councilman Joseph H. Emminger told one resident.

In other business, the Town Board approved a change order of $520,197 to Milherst Construction for additional storm water drainage, concrete structures and pipe work on the road being built in the North Youngmann Commerce Center.

The work is needed now because the road is being extended as developers are purchasing acres of the shovel-ready business park, Town Engineer James B. Jones told the board.

Also, the town’s annual Memorial Day Parade will be held Monday at 11 a.m. along Delaware Avenue from Sheridan Drive following observances at cemeteries across the town, Supervisor Anthony F. Caruana said.

Roadwork to mill, pave and stripe Delaware will be complete in time for the parade, he said.