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Aldi site plan for Transit approved in 4-2 vote But Planning Board wants minor changes

Aldi's food store is coming to Transit Road in Amherst, between Casey and Muegel roads.

The Planning Board approved the site plan in a 4-2 vote Thursday but requires the developer to make some minor changes to the original proposal, said Gary B. Black, assistant planning director for Amherst.

The new conditions call for a greater setback along the rear of the property, as well as adding a fence and some additional landscaping.

"Once [the developer has made those changes], they're free to get a building permit," Black said.

Aldi's representatives last appeared before the board Jan. 19 to seek site plan approval for the project that called for a 16,400-square-foot retail space that would also have included a 5,000-square-foot restaurant and a 3,000-square-foot bank.

More than a dozen residents, including some from neighboring Clarence, spoke against the plan at the January meeting, charging that it didn't fit the scale of the neighborhood and that similar types of businesses already exist in the area.

They also voiced concerns about the project's effect on drainage, traffic density, noise and air pollution and other quality-of-life issues, including the effect on property values in the area.

The public hearing was closed that January evening, and the board took no action on Aldi's request. Site plan reviews tend to be more technical than some other requests the Planning Board receives, Black explained. The board has final approval on site plan requests.

The board wants to make sure the plans "meet town zoning and code requirements, as well as permitting requirements" of all relevant agencies, Black said.

e-mail: hmcneil@buffnews.com

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