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Planning Board to hear comments on hospital's planned relocation

The public comment period is about to begin on the environmental impacts of Women & Children's Hospital's planned move to the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

The city Planning Board on Tuesday kicked off the process for public input into Kaleida Health's plans to move its pediatric hospital from the Elmwood Village.

Copies of the draft environmental impact statement will soon be made available, including on Kaleida's website and at area libraries.

A public hearing will be held as part of the process. Feb. 28 was floated as a potential date for the hearing, but nothing was officially scheduled.

The process -- which is supposed to find ways to mitigate environmental impacts, including traffic -- will be valuable also because Kaleida expects to hear from the Western New York development community about what might be able to happen with the Bryant Street hospital campus, said Marc A. Romanowski, an attorney for Kaleida.

A pediatric practice will remain at the Bryant Street site, Romanowski said.

The Planning Board also:

*Heard about a proposal from General Mills, which is looking to acquire land from the city on south Michigan Avenue, near its facility. The company wants to buy the land to be able to better secure its property, said Wayne Spencer, a company representative. The matter was prematurely sent to the board by the Division of Real Estate; it must first be reviewed by the Office of Strategic Planning, officials said.

*Recommended the Common Council approve a restricted use permit for a planned sushi restaurant at the corner of Parkside and Hertel avenues. Wei Xue said he plans to open the 2,000-square-foot business, at 1563 Hertel, possibly in June. The tentative name for the restaurant is Mika, Xue said.

*Recommended the Council approve plans for signs for Elmwood Village Fabrics, which is planning to move to 543 Franklin St. from its current location at 982 Elmwood Ave.

*Approved a change in plans for an outdoor patio at Sportsmen's Tavern, 326 Amherst St. Owner Dwane Hall said he is scaling back plans for a patio, which will now be located on the side of the building. Original plans called for the patio to stretch around the front of the business.