Adverse environmental effects from the proposed Commerce Green Plaza in East Aurora can't be adequately avoided, the Village Board ruled Monday.
Four of six trustees agreed the proposed retail venture, anchored by a Wal-Mart store, is "not in harmony" with the village land-use plan.
Their action paves the way for the rejection of the request to rezone the 48-acre site from manufacturing to commercial Wednesday night.
The board adopted a statement of 22 findings that detail the opposition to the 250,000-square-foot shopping plaza on the south side of Quaker Road at the village's western edge.
The board will meet at 7 p.m. Wednesday to consider the rezoning request.
The board approved a final impact statement earlier this month. The findings and environmental-impact statement are part of the State Environmental Quality Review Act requirements.
Trustee Diana Dickson voted against the findings.
"I'm just opposed to the findings they offered. I don't agree with three-quarters of them," she said.
Trustee Donald G. Meade abstained from voting.
"I had said I would go with the will of the people," he said. "And I am still having a difficult time grasping whether we've really heard from the total majority in this village."
Both Meade and Mrs. Dickson lost in their re-election bids last week to candidates who oppose the project.
In an emotional farewell address, Meade said his 10 years on the Village Board have made him a better East Auroran.
"On many issues we have disagreed, but in most instances we rose above those disagreements and remained friends. You always appreciated that I did my best to make decisions I thought were in the best interests of our community," Meade said.
Voting for the statement of findings were Trustees Julian H. Leggett, Barbara LaMond, R. Casey Schultz and Lowell B. Dewey.
Anthony DiFilippo III, who represents the developer, had no comment after Monday's meeting.
The statement of findings said the history of the site shows the zoning intent is for exclusively industrial use, and there is limited available industrial property in the village. In addition, commercially zoned property is underutilized, it said.
"The proposed large-scale commercial use of the land would not be compatible with the mixture of residential, industrial, office, government services and vacant-farmland uses in the immediate vicinity of the proposed project site," the findings stated.
The board majority said it agreed with its consultant, Nutter Associates, that significant light industrial development can occur at Commerce Green within 10 years. The number of industrial jobs that could be created, 497, is similar to the 536 retail jobs the shopping plaza would produce.
But the board majority said at an average of $17,102 annually, industrial jobs would pay significantly more than the projected $9,805 average salary for retail jobs.
The project also would "greatly increase traffic," and the 250,000-square-foot plaza would be out of scale with the village, the findings said.