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CHEEKTOWAGA FACES COURT FIGHT FOR BARRING RESTAURANT COMPLEX

Town of Cheektowaga attorneys will go to court next month over a restaurant, banquet facility and plaza planned for William Street after town officials rejected the developer's compromise for a scaled-down version of the project.

The town sent a letter to Dreamco Development Corp. rejecting the compromise, so the case is scheduled to go to trial April 27 before State Supreme Court Justice Joseph D. Mintz, said Cheektowaga's deputy town attorney, Kevin G. Schenk.

"Not only did they turn it down, they didn't even want to discuss it," said developer Rosanne Lettieri. "I thought they would have at least said, 'OK, let's sit down and discuss this.'

"There was no discussion. There was absolutely no cooperation," Ms. Lettieri said.

Neighborhood opposition formed in 1996 when Dreamco proposed a 200-seat restaurant, 500-seat banquet facility and 18,000-square-foot plaza for the old Immaculate Heart of Mary Orphanage property on the north side of William, between Kennedy Road and St. Felix Avenue.

The Town Board refused to rezone the six acres for the project. Dreamco sued the town, claiming officials had no substantial evidence to support their reasons for denying the project.

Dreamco late last year proposed a compromise -- a smaller project with no banquet hall.

"The Town Board said no," Schenk said Wednesday.

Dreamco could go through the entire application and approval process again for the new proposal, but there are no guarantees lawmakers would approve the project, Schenk said.

Town lawmakers rejected the original plan because the project, among other things, would generate more traffic congestion and intrude on residences.

The developer's compromise would require rezoning only 3.8 acres and would reduce the size of the development to 30,750 square feet from more than 37,000. Parking also would be cut to 195 spaces, from 405.

Officials, however, thought the smaller project was still too much for that site, Schenk added.

Now that the town has rejected the compromise, the developer's attorneys will be in court fighting for the original proposal.

"We're fighting for everything," Ms. Lettieri said.

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