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Grand Island Town Board holds off on changes to zoning laws; warehouse public hearing set for Wednesday

The Grand Island Town Board held off on capping the size of new buildings to 100,000 sq/ft, citing the need for the Erie Co. Planning Dept to review the plan.

GRAND ISLAND, N.Y. — The Grand Island town hall was filled to capacity Monday night, as the board held a public hearing regarding changes to its zoning laws. 

While a portion of the audience were Grand Island high school students fulfilling a mandatory social studies homework assignment, dozens of residents filled the courtroom where the monthly meeting is held. 

On the agenda, is a proposal to change the M1 & M2 Zoning law. The change would cap the size of new buildings on the island to 100,000 sq/ft.  

This plan was first conjured up during the August 28 board meeting, after dozens of residents protested the meeting. 

Residents have become increasingly concerned in recent months over a plan by a developer to build a 1.2 million sq/ft warehouse facility on Long Rd. 

The site, at one time, was also the proposed home of a 4 million square foot Amazon facility that ultimately moved to the Town of Niagara.

Over a dozen residents spoke during the public hearing Monday night, all of them in support of changing the island's zoning law. 

"I know there's like 20,000 people living here on Grand Island," one resident said during the hearing. "And I can't believe that the majority of them wake up each morning hoping, praying for a huge mega warehouse."

Many residents in attendance were expecting the board to act on the proposal and call for a vote. 

However, the agenda item had to be tabled until the next meeting, which is scheduled for October 2. 

"Every law that we apply to change or every zoning code has to be applied for to Erie County to make sure that it's just and fair and all that other stuff," said Deputy Supervisor Pete Martson. "They have 30 days to respond, if they don't respond in 30 days, we can change it.

Martson said if Erie County Planning if the county does respond, the board can make changes to make it more acceptable to them.

Martson and other board members also debated reducing the cap even further to 65,000 sq/ft, citing that most of the buildings in the M1 zones are no bigger than this. 

"This is a two-lane town, " Martson said during the board meeting. 

Even though the board won't be able to vote on the zoning changes until October, they still need to hold a public hearing regarding the environmental assessment for the proposed warehouse. 

That meeting will be held on Wednesday, September 20 at Grand Island High School. The meeting starts at 7 P.M. 

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