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DELI FAILS TO WIN APPROVAL

The Zoning Board of Appeals has denied a controversial request from a West Side businessman to allow a delicatessen in a vacant store at Porter and Normal avenues.

The project sparked opposition from many West Side residents and community groups who expressed fears that the store might cause litter, noise and possibly even crime problems in a neighborhood near Kleinhans Music Hall.

After hearing testimony Wednesday, the board denied Raymond Bova's request to convert his building at 485 Porter Ave., where Abdo M. Alamary wants to lease space to relocate his deli from Jersey Street and Plymouth Avenue.

Opponents urged the board to scuttle the plan. Michael Miano of Jersey Street claimed that, at its current location, the deli is the source of "trash that blows all over the neighborhood."

"My life would be a living hell with a deli across the street," Sandra W. Harmon told the board.

The Kleinhans Community Association, Allentown Association and Richmond Avenue Block Clubs also opposed the project.

Mark Dooley, executive director of the Allentown Association, submitted a letter calling the corner of Porter and Normal a "gateway" to Allentown.

"In an area already saturated with mom-and-pop stores/delis, we feel that the need is not there for another such location," Dooley wrote.

Joyce Berg, a representative of the Kleinhans Community Association, said she doesn't think the location is suitable for a deli because of its proximity to Kleinhans Music Hall.

But David Karpeles, the founder and chief executive of the Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum at 453 Porter, submitted a letter urging city officials to approve the project.

"Any opportunity to improve the face of Porter Avenue by encouraging the development of vacant commercial property must be a priority of the highest order," Karpeles said.

The board concluded that the proposed use was not consistent with the residential community in which the building is located.

The board also denied D'Youville College's request to add a parking lot.

e-mail: bmeyer@buffnews.com

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