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Snyder residents voice opposition to rezoning on Main Street

The 4800 block of Main Street in Snyder is losing its charm as a busy street lined with single- and multifamily homes, according to nearby residents.

So a plan to replace the floral shop in a two-family home at 4865 Main with a weight loss center drew opposition Monday night during a public hearing on rezoning the parcel from multifamily residential to general business.

Many residents who voiced opposition to the Town Board were from Livingston Parkway, which fought a losing battle several years ago against plans for a six-story Hyatt Place hotel.

"This is a residential area," said Joan Kernan, a Livingston resident. "Please do not change the zoning because this will be the beginning of the end of Snyder."

Her husband, David, said rezoning one parcel would set a precedent for future rezoning.

"The concern is not this particular use for this property," he said. "The concern is that rezoning the property to general business chips away at the residential character of the neighborhood and leads to further rezoning."

Corey A. Auerbach, an attorney representing the Ideal You Weight Loss Center owner, said the property had been used for a commercial purpose – the floral shop – for the last 50 years. Donna Herberger hoped to move her business from Sheridan Drive in Clarence to the 3,300- square-foot shop in Snyder.

Auerbach said the town's comprehensive plan calls for mixed-use and neighborhood commercial uses "for this specific site."

"We're not asking you to change the use of the site," he told the Town Board. "We're simply asking you to authorize the continued use of the site."

Ideal You had supporters among the audience in Council Chambers, too. Patrick Kaler, a Buffalo resident and Ideal You client, told the board the center's diet coaches helped him lose 100 pounds after suffering a heart attack and receiving five stents. The center's operations are limited to scheduled appointments only, he said.

"The Ideal You Weight Loss Center will create an ideal model for a business in the neighborhood and the entire town," he said.

In the end, the Town Board agreed with the Planning Board's determination that the rezoning would constitute spot zoning and was not consistent with the comprehensive plan. The rezoning was denied by a vote of 4-0, with one abstention.

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