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Sam's Club plans to remodel store, expand tire center

A representative of Sam's Club, 5535 Porter Road, told the Town Board on Thursday the company is planning to remodel the store's interior and slightly expand the store's tire center.

Douglas L. Anderson, project engineer for APD Engineering of Rochester, said representatives of Sam's Club would like to remodel the store's entrance vestibule and slightly expand the tire center toward the rear of the store.

He said that although Wal-Mart has been planning to make a move from next door to the Porter Road store onto Military Road in Niagara Falls, heads at Sam's Club are still intending to stay with the location here.

"They're doing a considerable investment into the store now," Anderson said. He later said he did not know how much the expansion is costing the store's owners.

Building Inspector Charles Haseley said that although he could place an item on the April 17 meetings agenda for final site plan approval, there are two issues to be addressed first. They include an oil separator and storm drainage piping -- two items that town Planning Board members brought up as issues.

Town Board members said they would wait for a review by town engineers before taking any action.

Five were present at the meeting, held in Town Hall.

Supervisor Steven C. Richards said one snag he foresees is a problem with the traffic light in front of Wal-Mart and the number of vehicles that enter and exit the property.

However, Richards said, the state Department of Transportation has jurisdiction over that stop light.

Richards said to Anderson, "I'm glad to see you expanding in the town . . . I take it as a good sign." He later added, "We need Wal-mart, too. Forget about expanding on Military Road."

Plans for a Wal-Mart Supercenter at 1500 Military Road have been sidelined, but it appears the company is still planning the 550,000-square-foot retail complex on the site of the former LaSalle High School.

The plan was to have been completed by now, but a group called Citizens Against Sprawlmart filed a lawsuit against the city and its Planning Board, claiming the complex would negatively affect its surrounding environment.

Last year, the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court unanimously upheld State Supreme Court Justice Amy Fricano's decision to dismiss the lawsuit. The group recently asked the Court of Appeals to reconsider that lawsuit.

The city's Planning Board in late February approved a site plan extension request from Benderson Development Co. for its planned Wal-Mart Supercenter and Sam's Club shopping complex at 1500 Military Road.

The new deadline for the Wal-Mart Supercenter site plan for the development is Oct. 31, 2008.

The Town Board will next meet in a work session at 7 p.m. Thursday in Town Hall, 7105 Lockport Road, and in a regular meeting at 7 p.m. April 17.

e-mail: pkowalik@buffnews.com

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