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Town OKs satellite parking site at Galleria

It's too late for this holiday shopping season, but the Cheektowaga Town Board has approved the site plan for a new satellite parking lot at Walden Galleria.

The lot will have room for 193 cars, and be located on the south side of Galleria Drive, 350 feet west of Union Road near the Cheektowaga Post Office. Underground drainage will be constructed.

Crews will cut down 266 trees during construction, and the town's ordinance requires the owner to replace them on a one-for-one basis. The mall plans to plant 245 trees in and around the mall property.

"They will be doing considerable landscaping and tree planting along Walden and Galleria Drive," Council Member Thomas M. Johnson Jr. said. "This will result in quite a substantial beautification of the entrance off the Route 90 ramp."

Galleria also has agreed to provide the town with money in lieu of the remaining 21 replacement trees if they are not planted on the site.

"We will make every attempt to find a location to plant the remaining 21 trees that have not been located on the mitigation plan. Only as a last resort will we plan to make financial mitigation in lieu of the planting," James L. Soos, mall manager, wrote in a letter to the town.

There are 295 trees on the lot, and 11 of them will remain.

The approval of the site plan is subject to the mall providing detailed planting plansand increasing the size of interior islands in the lot. The town engineer must approve the grading and drainage plan.

The mall is undergoing a $60 million renovation. The satellite lot fulfills the mall's obligation to provide tenants with adequate parking, town officials said last month.

In another change on parking, the mall is offering valet parking for $5. The service is located in front of the Cheesecake Factory, near Dick's Sporting Goods.

e-mail: bobrien@buffnews.com

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