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Steakhouse across from outlet mall OK’d as Niagara County planners weigh projects

SANBORN – Plans for 146,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space on Military Road across from the Fashion Outlets mall were among a number of upcoming projects discussed by the Niagara County Planning Board on Monday.

LongHorn Steakhouse is one of the businesses that plans to move into the property in the Town of Niagara, according to Benderson Development Director James A. Boglioli. The 21.2-acre site at 1755 and 1785 Military Road was previously occupied by the old John’s Flaming Hearth and Perkins restaurants.

Boglioli said Benderson was improving and updating rezoning and preliminary site plans already approved by the Town of Niagara.

Benderson would improve the site by adding a 50-foot buffer, rather than the required 20-foot buffer between neighborhoods, he said.

In addition, Benderson was required to put an 18-foot fence around the property, and it plans to put it on top of a 3- to 4-foot berm and also add Colorado spruce trees all along the property lines.

“We were only required to have a 20-foot space and a fence,” Boglioli said.

“We now have a 50-foot buffer, a berm, a fence and plantings.”

The final site plan was approved by the Planning Board.

Boglioli said a traffic plan had already been approved. He said Benderson has other tenants but was not able to discuss them at this point. He said one unidentified tenant is expected to take over 59,000 square feet, while LongHorn’s will occupy 6,170 in the new retail plaza.

The Town of Niagara has already announced that a TCBY frozen yogurt and Five Guys burger restaurant are planned as tenants in the old Perkins restaurant.

In another matter, the county Planning Board approved variances and a special-use permit for Bridgewater Estates, 1441-1451 Ridge Road, Lewiston. The plan calls for three four-story apartment buildings that would provide 138 units for senior citizens.

Granted was a variance from the 200-foot lot width required by town code. Jennifer Dougherty, an attorney representing Bridgewater Estates, said that the Zoning Board had told them that this was not required but that they wanted to “maintain continuity in the application.”

“We meet the total lot width, but it’s just not all connected,” Dougherty told the board.

Also granted was a variance for the height of the roof and a special-use permit.

Dougherty outlined how they incorporated and met conditions of the special-use permit to provide adequate parking and to make sure lighting points downward. Also incorporated was a gazebo.

In addition, a site plan was approved for an 18-hole miniature outdoor golf course and patio at 6510 Lincoln Ave., Town of Lockport. The property is owned by Lockport Lanes and will be built on an adjacent 11.2 acres of undeveloped land west of its Allie Brandt bowling lanes.

The only dissenting vote was by county Planning Board member Joseph C. Kibler, who also is City of Lockport Common Council president.

David W. Stutz from Apex Consulting outlined drainage plans for the property and told the board that parking would not be affected.

However, Kibler asked, why build the golf course when there is one across the street at Skateland in the City of Lockport? Stutz said that was not his call.

“They are in trouble across the street,” Kibler said. “In my opinion, this would kill them. This would wipe the skating rink out.”

The board also approved a site plan by Mount St. Mary’s Hospital & Health Center for a 3,200-square-foot addition to its current day care center on the hospital campus at 5310 Military Road, Lewiston.