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Planning Board rejects plan to reopen food store on Kensington Avenue

A plan to reopen a neighborhood food store at the corner of Kensington Avenue and Suffolk Street suffered rejection by the Buffalo Planning Board Monday, after the Common Council member for the district voiced strong concerns and reservations about the project.

Siomara Cheveres wants to restart the market at 1199 Kensington, where a business operated years ago.

The property is not zoned for commercial use, so a special-use permit is required from the Common Council.

Council Member Rasheed Wyatt criticized the proposal, saying the earlier store had been "a major problem" for neighbors and was the site of "a lot of shootings and violence."

More recently, he said, residents are already complaining about patrons of the nearby barber shop parking their cars on the sidewalk at the corner.

He said there are already enough stores and delis in that area, including two just a block away, so "we don't need another one." He noted the applicant has not met with himself or neighbors to address concerns – a standard procedure in such applications – but is already putting in shelving inside the building.

"We don’t want to open up a Pandora’s box," Wyatt said. "Because the corner is such a problem, I don't think [neighbors] want anything there."

Cheveres did not attend. The Planning Board recommended denial of the request.


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