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PLAN WOULD RAZE FOIT'S FOR SCENIC OVERLOOK

The former Foit's Restaurant, which has been an eyesore on the shore of Lake Erie for years, will be torn down and the property developed into a scenic overlook under a plan by the Town of Hamburg.

The project received a major boost in the form of a $250,000 state grant obtained by Assemblyman Richard A. Smith, D-Hamburg, and announced Monday night by Hamburg Supervisor Patrick H. Hoak.

The funds cannot be used for acquisition, but the property, most recently the Italian Fisherman restaurant, is in bankruptcy and the town hopes to work with creditors and possibly obtain other grants that could be used to purchase the derelict building and about 400 feet of lakefront.

"This is a significant start," said Councilman Thomas J. Quatroche Jr.

In addition to the estimated $54,000 cost of demolition, the seawall needs $80,000 worth of repairs.

The town plans a passive recreation area with benches and picnic tables and hopes to begin the project as soon as possible, Hoak said.

On another matter, the town took the first step in a "pre-emptive strike" that would allow it to reclaim most of the revenue that would be lost to the state from speeding violations.

It is preparing a local law setting the same speed limits that now exist on all county and town roads. Town police would then charge speeders with violating town law instead of state law and keep all the fine revenue.

The measure would not apply to state roads, where only the state can set the speed limit, Deputy Town Attorney Richard Boehm said.

The town estimates it will lose $500,000 in revenue and that "puts a serious hole in our budget," Councilwoman Kathleen C. Hochul said.

Hoak said town police write 92 percent of all the speeding tickets and therefore the town is entitled to the revenue.

The board tabled the proposed legislation, which is still being developed, following a public hearing at which there were no comments.

Also Monday, the board:

Approved a zoning change that will allow Karen Penfold to operate a Victorian tea room in the former Hainer House at 4588 South Park Ave. The building is the former CID Corp. offices, owned by her husband, Richard Penfold.

Board members praised the Penfolds' contributions to the community and said the tea room will create less traffic congestion than would an office building.

The zoning change is from Office District to Hamburg Commercial District.

Declined to consider a request for a zoning change sought by Thomas Tasseff for 57 acres off East Eden Road from Residential Agricultural to Single Family Residential because it would not fit into the town's Comprehensive Plan.

e-mail: ternst@buffnews.com

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