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The Dunkirk Zoning Board of Appeals Tuesday night set the stage for the construction of a communications tower at the Chautauqua County Fairgrounds, beginning in a month.

The 180-foot tower will be erected behind the horse stables near the racetrack, Lou Ebert of Cellular One/Sygnet said after the meeting.

The board unanimously issued a negative declaration of significant environmental impact, then unanimously approved the application for the tower.

The tower will be lit full-time because of its closeness to the Dunkirk airport. The sole light will be on top of the structure -- a medium-intensity white strobe light during the day and a blinking red light at night.

The tower and a small building next to it will be fenced off for safety.

If Cellular One/Sygnet allows others to use the tower, an application must be filed with the board. And, if the tower is not used for a year, it must be dismantled within months.

Also, the tower cannot interfere with radio or TV communications.

The original application was filed in April. The city later approved a six-month moratorium on applications for cellular towers to update its zoning code. This application, however, was not affected by the moratorium.

In other action, the board approved an addition to the Yellow Goose Market convenience store at 253 Lake Shore Drive East. The 583-square-foot addition will increase retail space. Five additional parking spaces will be added.

The company purchased a building at 255 Lake Shore Drive East and will demolish it, level and grade the property, according to David Galbo of Buffalo, the architect for the project.

The board embraced the plan but is requiring that a dumpster be fenced off, that lighting not intrude on neighbors and proper drainage be provided for snowmelt.

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