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BUFFALO CRUSHED STONE LAWSUIT SETTLED

Cheektowaga has agreed to settle a lawsuit with a Como Park Boulevard mining operation and residents living near the 159-acre limestone quarry should benefit.

Buffalo Crushed Stone will keep a 200-foot buffer zone between its mining property and nearby homes, in addition to erecting berms, planting new trees and putting up six-to eight-foot high fences to screen the quarry from homes, according to terms of the agreement.

The company also will try to mitigate mining noise, dust and blasting effects -- all issues that for years have been a source of contention with neighboring residents.

Cheektowaga, in exchange, will OK the removal of trees on quarry property and abandon portions of its right of ways for more mining at the site. Cheektowaga and Buffalo Crushed Stone formalized the settlement this week.

"Hopefully, this is resolved and for the betterment of the residents there because they will be getting some screening now," said Deputy Town Attorney Kevin G. Schenk. "It's a settlement in the best interest of the residents."

Rezoning property to the east across Indian Road, near Cayuga Creek, to expand mining operations in the future is another matter town officials will likely have to address.

Buffalo Crushed Stone right now has not presented the town with a request to rezone that property, but the company intends to submit plans soon, according to sources close to the matter.

Legal action began last year over Buffalo Crushed Stone's plans to remove 2,300 trees from its property.

Cheektowaga officials wanted Buffalo Crushed Stone to address neighbor's concerns before taking down hundreds of trees. There also was disagreement about whether the company would have to replant trees elsewhere as required in the town's tree-preservation ordinance.

Buffalo Crushed Stone then filed a lawsuit against Cheektowaga for denying the company a permit to remove the trees.

The town eventually allowed Buffalo Crushed Stone to take down some sections of trees and attorneys were able to work out an agreement before the suit progressed in court.

The settlement was important in establishing mining boundaries, said Councilman Thomas M. Johnson Jr.

"It sets in place the limits of their quarry operations based on our zoning," Johnson said.

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