TOWN OF NIAGARA – Public hearings on the demolition of an apartment building and rezoning for a business expansion were scheduled by the Town Board for July 19.
The board voted Tuesday to seek public input on changing the zoning at 5555 Porter Road from general business to light industrial. This would allow the owner to convert the former Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club stores to a warehouse and distribution facility, which town officials said is a compatible fit for the area. The hearing will begin 7 p.m.
Both stores have been closed for several years since the businesses moved to Military Road. The Wal-Mart building housed Park’s Furniture, owned by a Canadian company.
Town Supervisor Lee Wallace said the sale of the parcel depends on the zoning change. The buyer was not named.
The dilapidated apartment building at 2926 Lockport Road was described by Wallace as “an eyesore and a safety hazard” in the neighborhood. The demolition is a part of the board’s continuing effort to get rid of “zombie” houses in the town. The five-unit building was built in 1935.
In other business, the board:
• Approved an agreement to seek a $500,000 grant to purchase the former Army base property on Porter Road. The agreement is among the town, Empire State Development and the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency. Wallace said it was the first step in returning the site “back to a taxable entity.”
• Set Sept. 17 for the 19th annual “Kidz ‘N’ Kites” event at Veterans Memorial Community Park. The family-oriented celebration, sponsored every year by the county Department of Social Services, runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
• Approved a blanket permit for the Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls USA to hold multiple outdoor events for the remainder of the year. Town Deputy Supervisor Charles Teixeira said the permit would allow the outlet to schedule events, including sidewalk sales, without having to apply separately for each event. Notice of new events must be submitted to the supervisor in writing 30 days before they occur.