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Residents on Southwestern near Lowe's seek rezoning

Living along a five-lane highway next to a big-box hardware store will make it difficult, if not impossible, to sell their residential property, several homeowners told the Hamburg Town Board on Monday night.

They have asked the town to rezone their land to commercial. But that would move the problem to the adjoining subdivision, their neighbors said.

The Town Board made no decision Monday night on the request to rezone 4888, 4882, 4876, 4870 and 4862 Southwestern Blvd. from residential to C-1 commercial, which would allow buildings up to 15,000 square feet to be constructed.

Tammy Bojanowski said she has lived along Southwestern for 12 years. Since her family moved there, the road has been widened to five lanes, and several businesses have been added, including a Lowe's. "This is a property that is no longer desirable for raising a family," she said. "Nobody's going to buy my house. Nobody wants to live next to a Lowe's."

But residents living along Dogwood Lane behind Southwestern said they do not want commercial property closer to their homes. Town officials told them there would be a buffer of one parcel, but the owner of that parcel, Ken Bloom, said he wants his land included in the rezoning.

"This moved forward under the assumption your property was not included," Supervisor Steven J. Walters said.

Also Monday night, board members discussed a resolution directing the town attorney to provide the board a legal opinion on the proper procedure to reduce the salary of a board councilman by 10 percent.

The salary reduction, pledged by Democratic Councilmen Jon Gorman and Joseph Collins when they were campaigning, has become an issue raised by Republicans. Gorman and Collins said they asked a payroll clerk, but they are not sure of the proper procedure. The supervisor objected to using a resolution to solicit an opinion from the town attorney. The attorney, Kenneth Farrell, said at a work session and again Monday night that he cannot render an opinion on the request of an individual board member, but only when asked by the board as a whole.

Gorman and Collins withdrew the resolution after the supervisor said the board would ask Farrell how the pay reduction could be achieved.

e-mail: bobrien@buffnews.com

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