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Opposition prompts rejection of plan for 28 townhouses

The Orchard Park Town Board killed a proposal Wednesday night for 28 townhouses on Webster Road.

The board unanimously rejected Steve Hollins' request to rezone a 12-acre tract from R-2 to R-3, the residential classification that would allow townhouses.

Supervisor Toni Cudney said she based her vote on overwhelming public opposition at a May 18 public hearing on the project. The town's Planning Board voted for approval.

Councilman Stan Jemiolo Jr. said the board was in an awkward position and was stepping outside its normal procedure by rejecting the rezoning before doing an environmental review.

Jemiolo said the board could have required Hollins to do a full environmental impact statement, but that would have been pointless "when everybody in town knows the five members of this board are going to deny this petition."

"The last time I talked with him, he said he was going to study a single-family home subdivision, which he's entitled to on that property," Jemiolo said.

The board also considered three business developments involving Benderson Development Co.

It approved a building permit for a 7,560-square-foot restaurant and retail building at 3165 Southwestern Blvd., near the Lowe's home improvement store that opened in February. Several board members said they had been told it was expected to house an upscale coffee shop.

The board also set a public hearing for Oct. 19 on Benderson's plans for vacant land on the east side of North Buffalo Road. The developer wants to rezone part of the property from B-3 to B2, a different business classification that would allow construction of two multiple-tenant buildings

Councilman David Kaczor said Benderson has indicated that it is "putting on the back burner" another North Buffalo Street project, which would have housed a drugstore.

In other actions, the board:

Moved $200,000 from the Big Tree Road drainage project to a drainage project in the Bussendorfer Road-Willowbrook Drive-Forsythia Court area. The area has had water problems for decades, with a small drainage ditch growing into a full-fledged stream; the town has hired consultants to help devise plans to resolve the problem.

Approved an amendment to the town's code on dogs in town parks. It allows dogs as long as they remain on a leash and owners clean up after them.

"I think the only difference now is that we're going to restrict dogs in certain areas, and we're going to require the cleanup," Cudney said. She said dogs may be restricted in play areas for small children and around playing fields.

Approved a site plan for a 6-acre parking lot for Town Automotive Group at 3525 Southwestern Blvd.

e-mail: eploetz@buffnews.com

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