On Dec. 8, the Lancaster Town Board held a meeting to review the Development Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed strip mall at Transit Road and William Street. Town Supervisor Robert Giza clearly stated that only comments pertinent to the DEIS would be allowed.
Yet for the first five minutes of the meeting, developer Joseph Cipolla was permitted to expound on his, and his family's, contributions to the community, which have nothing to do with the DEIS. He and his project engineer then presented their mitigation responses to the impacts, which lacked in substance and, it will be proven, fail to meet DEIS requirements.
Once again, those opposing the strip mall were labeled selfish and self-serving. Not true. We all favor development that increases the tax base and serves the people of Lancaster, but not at the risk of residents' safety.
William Street, a two-lane state road, is already overburdened with traffic. Without a turning lane, cars are illegally and dangerously crossing solid lines to pass turning vehicles. Residents now experience difficulty entering William from secondary roads and their own driveways.
But who cares if the projected traffic increase is 6,000 cars per day and the situation becomes more critical? The town wants the tax money.
Lastly, it is Cipolla who is responsible for all the misunderstanding, bickering and wasted time, money and effort. It's a tough job to cram such a big building onto such a small site, and to cram the project down Lancaster residents' throats, but with the help of the Town Board, he is giving it a good shot.
I predict he will ultimately lose.