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Tim Hortons developer to challenge Orchard Park law banning drive-thrus

Conditions have changed.

That's why Orchard Park Supervisor Patrick Keem said he voted for a ban Wednesday on drive-thrus that would prohibit a Tim Hortons Restaurant at the corner of Armor Duells Road and Chestnut Ridge Road (Route 277.)

But not much has changed for property owner Ray Miranda, who bought the property six years ago because it was zoned for business. He has already taken the town to State Supreme Court over the its insistence that the strictest environmental review was required. He won that case in Supreme Court and the Appellate Division, and the state's Court of Appeals declined a further appeal.

Miranda said "clearly" he wants to "get that law overturned, just like we did the last law they filed." He added the board had the opportunity to "do the right thing last night, and they didn't."

The board's action restricts drive-thrus in the Architectural Overlay District, which includes sections of Route 277 in the town from Southwestern Boulevard to Armor Duells Road.

"Traffic flow down the main corridor in our town and village, and especially at that corner, has increased dramatically in the six years since he purchased the property," Keem said. "To me, it'll be a nightmare. That's why I voted for the ban."

Miranda said he would have liked to have cars exit onto Armor Duells, but that has been ruled out by the state Department of Transportation. He said he has had two traffic studies done, and they determine there will not be a major traffic impact.

Keem said the DOT restriped the road, added bicycle lanes and sidewalks, which increased bike and pedestrian traffic in front of the proposed site. Nearby subdivisions Birdsong and Eagle Heights are expanding, which also will increase traffic, he said.

"Traffic is becoming an issue because of the growth that we’ve had and because of the growth that other communities around us have had," Keem said.

Miranda said he will challenge the town's action and seek compensatory damages.

"Do we think they're going to grandfather us in? Absolutely not. They targeted us with the first law, they targeted us with this law. This law is designed to keep us out," he said.

Drive-thru ban could curb plans for Tim Hortons in Orchard Park

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