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BOARD VOTES TO UPDATE STUDY OF PARKING

Increasing development pressures in East Aurora's core business district spurred village officials Monday night to call for a new study of parking on Main Street.

After discussing preliminary plans by Tantalus to add 110 seats to the restaurant at 634 Main St., the Village Board voted to update a parking study for the village's central business district, targeting Main Street between Pine Street and Whaley Avenue.

"To me, it's clear that we have to plan ahead for parking in this village," Trustee Elizabeth Cheteny said in calling for an analysis by the Greater Buffalo Niagara Regional Transportation Council.

The village code would require 44 additional parking spots for the Tantalus expansion, Mayor David DiPietro said.

The board most recently had the Transportation Council conduct a traffic study, including a parking analysis, in 2002, because of questions about increased traffic.

Cheteny noted that growing businesses need more parking while the Aurora Ice Association has expressed interest in building an ice rink on Riley Street.

"If the rink gets built and the theater wants to expand, I think the bigger issue is where are we going to put the parking?" Cheteny asked Monday during the board's work session.

Inadequate parking could make some businesses no longer viable, she said.

John Rooney and Laurie Kutas, the owners of Tantalus, filed plans to extend their operation into 2,300 square feet recently vacated by Baileys Men's Store.

The restaurant would lease the area for a cafe area with 50 seats, a private room with 60 seats, a seasonal outdoor dining area and expanded kitchen.

"This project is an extension of our original business plan," the Tantalus owners said in their filing. "It will allow us to handle overflow on heavy traffic nights, as well as route 'to go' business away from the main dining room."

With the expansion, the restaurant would add 10 employees.

The board scheduled public hearing on the plan for May 16.

e-mail: krobinson@buffnews.com

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