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Approval of rezoning clears path for Target

Cheektowaga Town Board members Monday unanimously approved a rezoning that will clear the way for a Target discount department store on Transit Road.

Traffic at and around the intersection of Transit and Losson roads was a main concern of neighbors, and several board members wanted assurance that Benderson Development Co. would pay for traffic improvements if they were deemed necessary six months after the store opens near the intersection.

The resolution, as presented, "includes somewhat of a leap of faith," Council Member Jeff Swiatek said. The resolution noted that Benderson must implement a traffic study within six months of Target's opening.

After a brief executive session with Benderson representatives, the board added a condition that any future traffic control required by the town after the new traffic study would be paid for by Benderson.

Failure to do so would result in the revocation of the certificate of occupancy.

Board members received a letter from Benderson listing its 26 commitments and 14 from Target that had been agreed to in past meetings.

"Twenty minutes ago, this document was dropped on my desk," Council Member James J. Jankowiak said, adding that he was not voting in favor of the project until he was satisfied that concerns had been addressed and that he was familiar with the commitments. "This was the first time the Town Board saw all this."

The conditions had been agreed to by Benderson in meetings with town staff and residents, and stated during Wednesday's meeting of the Environmental Advisory Committee.

"It's a legitimate concern as it relates to residents in the area," Town Supervisor Dennis H. Gabryszak said of the traffic. "I think you're going to see much more traffic on Transit Road."

A traffic signal is being added on Losson across from the Wegmans entrance, and Council Member Thomas M. Johnson Jr. said Erie County is requiring that if the new traffic study recommends closure of the plaza's easterly driveway near Taco Bell, it would be closed.

The board rezoned the property from motor services to retail business Monday. It is the same property that the board rezoned last year from retail business to motor services for a Delta Sonic car wash, which was not built.

Also Monday, board members approved a new law requiring residents to place their trash in metal or plastic garbage cans. The cans will not have to have lids, as some residents had said it is difficult to replace lost or damaged lids.

"Although it is not required, it is highly recommended that cans have tight-fitting covers," Council Member Alice Magierski said.

The new law was enacted to help combat the rodent problem in the town. She said the town would start enforcing the law Jan. 1.


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