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Wheatfield considering zoning changes on Niagara Falls Boulevard

WHEATFIELD – The Town Board is considering a zoning revision along Niagara Falls Boulevard that might do away with the phenomenon of individual lots having more than one zoning classification.

There’s also a possibility that future residential development might be prohibited on all or part of the boulevard, Supervisor Robert B. Cliffe said Thursday.

The revision in the terms of the overlay zoning provisions for the boulevard is expected to be the topic of a public meeting sometime in April, although no date has been set by the Town Board.

“What everybody wants is input from the people affected by the plan,” Town Attorney Robert J. O’Toole said during Monday’s board session.

Town planning consultant Andrew C. Reilly is drawing up the plan. The board voted Monday to pay his Wendel engineering firm $6,500 for the work.

Reilly said the goal is to “clean up” the zoning along Niagara Falls Boulevard. It’s common for properties to have one zoning classification, often commercial, within 300 feet of the road and another farther back, for example residential or agricultural. “They can’t use the back part of their lots,” Cliffe said.

Besides rectifying that, Reilly said the plan might try to address the town’s “hierarchical zoning,” in which the zoning types are arranged in a pecking order, and any property has not only its official zoning classification but also the ones below it. The order is industrial, commercial, residential and agricultural, Reilly explained.

There are residential areas along the boulevard, but for the most part the highway, which is Route 62, is commercial.

In another upcoming move by the Town Board, a vote is expected at the March 23 meeting on a revised electronic waste recycling contract with Sunnking that Cliffe said was worked out by Niagara County environmental coordinator Dawn M. Timm.

Cliffe said the town is now paying 20 cents a pound for recycling of cathode ray tubes, or CRTs: the picture generator in tube-style TVs and computer monitors. Cliffe said Timm got Sunnking to lower that price to 10 cents a pound.

“They charge us because they don’t make enough money on it to cover all the work they have to do,” Cliffe said. “We’re probably spending $500 a month, give or take. We’re no longer making a profit (on e-waste recycling) because of all the CRTs.”

But the supervisor vowed, “It is a service we need to provide.”