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3RD HOTEL PLANNED NEAR THRUWAY FACING OBSTACLES

A third hotel could be coming to the Walden Avenue-Thruway interchange in Cheektowaga -- but there's a big catch.

A trucking company has to move first, and town officials aren't happy with the company's building plans farther east on Walden, between Union and Dick roads.

A four-story, 106-room Courtyards by Marriott hotel is proposed at a Ryder Truck Rental & Leasing location on Anderson Road, just off Walden near a Hampton Inn and Sheraton Four Points Hotel.

If Ryder doesn't move, the hotel won't be built, a spokesman for the hotel chain said.

Both projects -- which require rezonings -- were aired at a meeting of the Cheektowaga Environmental Advisory Committee, a panel of town officials that acts as a development clearinghouse.

The committee Wednesday also reviewed plans for:

A six-building office park across from the town government complex on Union Road near Broadway.

A 100-unit assisted-living residence for the elderly on Cayuga Creek Road.

A two- or three-story building in the soon-to-be-rebuilt Bison Yards railroad complex in Sloan.

Officials sniped at Ryder Truck's plans for a 19,000-square-foot office and garage set back just 98 feet from Walden east of Union, near the corporate headquarters of Pepsi-Cola Buffalo Bottling Corp. and American Precision Industries. In addition to the building, the plan shows parking for 53 cars, 147 truck tractors and 79 truck trailers.

Officials said American Precision, Ryder's would-be neighbor, has a front setback of about 200 feet. Unless redesigned with a much deeper setback, landscaping in front and a more appealing building, the truck facility would be an eyesore in an area the town is trying to improve, committee members agreed.

"It just doesn't look good," zoning officer Daniel Ulatowski remarked.

"Presentation along Walden is extremely important to us, and I would have hoped for something more upscale," Council Member Thomas M. Johnson Jr. told Ryder representatives. He said the town's "theme for this part of Walden is attractive buildings with good setbacks, not more trucking operations in an area already saturated with (them)."

In other business, traffic design is the biggest concern in Iskalo Development Corp.'s plans for Union Business Park, a six-building office park with more than 170,000-square-feet of floor space across Union from the town government complex.

Officials said the town wants to make sure that when Union is widened, that office park and town complex driveways align at a new signalized intersection.

A meeting of the Cheektowaga Conservation Advisory Council at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in Town Hall is the next stop in the review pipeline for the Cayuga Creek assisted-living project, officials said. According to a spokesman for the developer, Peregrine Development of Syracuse, review work will probably run into December.

With two-thirds of the building in the flood plain, drainage is the main worry, but traffic and archaeological resource studies also remain to be done.

Meanwhile, Norfolk Southern Corp. disclosed plans to build a two- or three-story building and a 100-car parking lot as part of a $13 million project to rebuild a 10-track railroad operation in the Bison Yards south of Broadway near Harlem Road in Sloan.

Project engineers said traffic access to Harlem or Kennedy Road is contemplated. Concerns besides traffic include drainage and site lighting, officials said. The engineers said preliminary environmental information would be delivered to the town by the end of the day.

Norfolk Southern is undertaking the $13 million project to help relieve some of the rail congestion strangling local commerce since the Conrail break up in June. Plans include five new 8,000-foot tracks to park freight cars.

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