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Fate of controversial development in Town of Niagara could be known next week

TOWN OF NIAGARA – The immediate future of the controversial Bri Estates development proposal should be known Tuesday.

At its monthly meeting, the Town Board is scheduled to vote on the second part of the environmental assessment form regarding the 115-lot subdivision that is planned to be built behind the neighborhoods on Colonial Drive and Miller Road.

A positive or negative vote on the second part of the State Environmental Quality Review Act form that addresses the environmental impact would determine how the project would proceed.

Bri Estates has been on the drawing board for nearly two years during which it has met with an active, organized opposition from homeowners in the area. The Concerned Citizens of the towns of Niagara and Lewiston have been asking questions at the meetings, posting objections online and keeping the topic visible in the community.

Residents of the area complain that the development would put a strain on existing water and sewer service in the area, increase traffic, upset groundwater drainage and lower the quality of life in the rural neighborhood.

The developer, Double C Realty, has submitted engineering studies and other data that dispute those arguments.

The board members reviewed the 18 questions on the second part of the form in Sept. 12 with attorney Corey Auerbach, the special counsel it hired to guide officials through the process. The questions regarded what impact the project would have on geological aspects such as land surface, wetlands, the water table and drainage, if any, and what level the impact would have.

Supervisor Lee Wallace, who said the board would vote before the public hearing on the subdivision at 6:30 p.m., would not indicate which way the opinions were leaning.

A negative vote that states the project would have no impact would push the plans forward. However, if the board agrees that the subdivision does have any significant impacts on the area, Bri Estates would be subject to further environmental studies and corrective measures by the applicant to remove the impacts. Such a setback would stall the project for months, he noted.

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