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Mohan seeks to shorten floodplain building moratorium

Amherst Supervisor Satish B. Mohan on Thursday said he will ask the Town Board to shorten to six months a proposed moratorium on building in the floodplain.

Rather than a one-year stay of construction, as proposed earlier, Mohan said he believes the moratorium should not last longer than six months.

"We can't hold off development any longer than that," he said.

Town officials expect to use the lull to study storm drainage problems in north Amherst and possible solutions.

Town Board members will discuss the moratorium when they meet Monday, but a public hearing must be held before it becomes law.

In a related matter, Mohan also declined to comment on charges that town officials are "anti-development" and using "unlawful" tactics to block a proposed Wal-Mart Supercenter and other projects in Amherst.

Mohan said he did not want to say anything because town attorneys are looking into the matter.

On Wednesday, Attorney Jeffrey D. Palumbo, who often represents developers, complained that Town Board members are trying to rezone vacant properties along Millersport Highway in hopes of blocking a proposed supercenter on Millersport between Smith and New roads and other projects in north Amherst.

Palumbo also said his clients, James Collins and developer Anthony Cimato, are prepared to sue Amherst if officials continue their rezoning efforts. He urged officials to immediately halt the planned "downzonings," which would prevent development plans.

Mohan said the town should be able to complete a drainage study of the area before the moratorium runs out.

"We can't delay the building industry more than six months," he said.

The matter is expected to be presented to the board at its Monday meeting, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in Williamsville North High School.

e-mail: tdolan@buffnews.com

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