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Developer of Target agrees to 8-foot buffer fence

Before Benderson Development Co. puts a shovel in the ground to build a new Target store in Cheektowaga, it will install an 8-foot fence as a buffer to the neighborhood.

Todd Benderson told Cheektowaga officials Wednesday that he had agreed to that request from residents, and it will be done. Residents also want traps set and rodent bait placed in the vacant lot before construction starts, which the developer agreed to do.

The fence and critter patrol were two of many conditions to which Benderson and Target have agreed to win a rezoning from the Town Board on Monday on the property on Transit Road near Losson Road.

"They want the buffer area preserved against construction damage," Council Member Thomas M. Johnson Jr. said of neighbors.

Benderson conducted a meeting with neighbors Tuesday night to hear their concerns, and neighbors said they want to meet with Target representatives as well.

"They will continue to work with neighbors. They want to be good neighbors," said Jim Rumsey, of Benderson.

Among the neighborhood-friendly conditions are keeping tractor-trailers idling for less than five minutes, restricting deliveries to earlier than 10 p.m. and keeping Target deliveries to an average of one tractor-trailer delivery per day. Large trucks will not be allowed to make a left turn out of the development onto Losson and can only deliver from Transit.

The Environmental Advisory Committee on Wednesday recommended the Town Board issue a negative environmental declaration, as long as the issues of traffic, light, noise, drainage and vegetation are addressed according to previously agreed to conditions.

Rumsey said it is hoped construction could start this year, with the store opening in fall 2006.

The Environmental Advisory Committee also heard a proposal from St. Joseph Hospital to add 219 parking spaces.

"None of us are terribly convinced you need the parking," Johnson said.

Representatives for the hospital said that during shift change, the existing parking is over capacity. The hospital also is contractually obligated to provide the Caritas Medical Arts Building 104 additional parking spaces, they said.

About one-half acre of the intended parking lot is wetlands, and the hospital would mitigate that loss by creating about one acre of wetlands within the town.

The town also has received plans for the new visitors center at the Dr. Victor Reinstein Nature Preserve. The 5,000-square-foot building would include classroom, exhibit, office and meeting spaces. The state Department of Environmental Conservation, which operates the preserve, is asking the town to concur that the DEC should take lead-agency status in developing the building.


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