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A proposed 90-day moratorium on certain types of development along East Aurora's Main Street already has its share of critics before the public even has its say.

The proposal by Trustee Elizabeth Cheteny -- designed to protect the village's historic character -- encompasses zoning changes, special-use permits for land use development projects, variances, site plans and subdivision approvals.

The proposal also would temporarily stop any building permits from being issued for drive-through retail businesses, auto-related uses or demolishing structures built before 1950 along Main Street.

The Village Board this week rejected two separate drive-through proposals -- one for a Starbucks Coffee at the traffic circle and the other for a Dunkin' Donuts eyed for lower Main Street.

"I was looking at things that are the most harmful to the historic character of Main Street, and drive-throughs are at odds with being pedestrian-friendly," Cheteny said in an interview. "I don't want to isolate any particular project, and I'm not targeting any particular company."

Cheteny said it's important to consider the value of Main Street to the community.

"Look at what happened at the traffic circle. It's a mess," she said. "You don't want to replicate that up Main Street. If we don't put things in place to protect what we've got, you can turn around and it will be gone."

But Trustee Patrick McDonnell isn't hot on the moratorium plan.

"I think this is very broad in scope and could be targeted at Noco," he said.

Representatives for Noco Energy Corp. -- which has been trying for seven months to win village approval to expand its convenience store/gas station at 495 Main and add a Charlie the Butcher restaurant -- said this week they feared that the local law would affect their project if it passed before their proposal received the green light.

Village Attorney Robert Pierce acknowledged that would be the case but said he wasn't sure that was Cheteny's intent. Though an opponent of Noco's earlier plans, she insisted that her proposal was not designed to affect Noco's project.

The moratorium plan faces a public hearing Nov. 1, though Pierce indicated the resolution may be rewritten to be less restrictive.


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