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PLANNING BOARD TABLES REQUEST FOR TOPS STORE

After a debate between store representatives and an attorney representing neighborhood residents, the city Planning Board Tuesday tabled an application by Tops Markets to build a $3.5 million supermarket at Grant and Amherst streets.

The board delayed action so questions raised by attorney Krista Gottleib's clients about the site's environmental and neighborhood impact can be answered.

This is the second time the company has put forth plans for a store on the Black Rock site. In November 1988, Tops proposed building a 60,000-square-foot store there, but the plan was challenged in court.

The new plan calls for an 81,500-square-foot store to replace the Roc-Mar bowling alley and six blighted buildings.

Ms. Gottleib told the board her clients do not oppose the development, which supporters expect will generate 300 jobs.

Instead, she said, her clients want to know in detail how the store might affect neighbors' health and welfare.

Ms. Gottleib's clients, whom she described only as Black Rock neighborhood residents, are concerned with toxic waste near the site, she said.

Part of the site was on land occupied by the former Pratt & Letchworth foundry.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation considers portions of the property a possible environmental hazard.

Earlier this month, the DEC reported finding significant contamination on parts of the land, but removed the proposed supermarket site from its registry of inactive hazardous waste sites.

North Council Member David Rutecki, one of the project's supporters, said only a small portion of the proposed supermarket site would be on the former Pratt & Letchworth property.

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