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WAL-MART COULD BUILD SUPERCENTER THIS FALL

Construction of a Wal-Mart supercenter could begin this fall after the Town of Batavia Planning Board conducts a site plan review at its Aug. 3 meeting.

Both the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals this week granted zoning variances and special use permits despite strong opposition from residents of the area. Planning Board Chairwoman Kathleen Jasinzki said that there will be no more public hearings and that the proposal could be adopted at the meeting.

Wal-Mart wants to expand its 9-year-old store into a supercenter nearby, doubling the size of the 125,000-square-foot retail space.

Executives say the expansion would include a 24-hour grocery store, a deli and additional departments. They project an additional 200 jobs after the yearlong construction.

Two groups in recent weeks have pressed pro and con arguments on town boards and the public. Batavia Residents for Economic Growth claim a larger store is good for business, employment and added property and sales tax revenue.

Batavia First, comprised mostly of residents on nearby Lewiston Road, oppose the change, contending that the store's size will affect their property values and that it will lead to serious traffic problems.

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