Weekly Feature



2017-10-11 / Front Page

Transit Meadows one step away from drive-thru approval

by ETHAN POWERS
Editor

Residents of the Woodbridge Village remain undeterred in their opposition to the development of the Transit Meadows commercial plaza, though they are beginning to believe that their concerns are falling on deaf ears.

Jonathan Bevilacqua of Bevilacqua Development received development plan approval from the Planning Board during its Oct. 4 meeting. The Transit Meadows project will feature a mix of retail and restaurant tenants, as well as the installation of a controversial drive-thru, to be located at 6031 Transit Road, near Clarence Center Road.

The proposal consists of five buildings, totaling 45,000 square feet of space.

Since the project’s inception, residents of the Woodbridge Village have showed up en masse at Town and Planning Board meetings to express trepidation related to how the project may affect the quality of life within their neighborhood. Noise issues, light pollution and a traffic problem that residents say will be exacerbated by another drive-thru on Transit continue to part of an overall theme of residential concern.

Ginine Capozzi, a resident of Whitegate Crossing who spoke on behalf of the Woodbridge Homeowners Association, told the Planning Board that her community feels as if town government has not fulfilled their expectations.

“I think our biggest concerns continue to be the relationship with the builder and the developer of that property, and the follow through with the things that are committed to you as a Planning Board,” she said. “Our experience with the additional medical buildings that have been built have been very challenging. As a result, we have doubts about what this building is going to look like.”

Capozzi added that homes that are currently for sale in the Woodbridge Village are struggling to sell as prospective homeowners are apprehensive about purchasing property near such large commercial developments.

“We would like a clear understanding from the board as to what our course of action is once you approve this. Once it is approved and becomes the plan, it feels like we lose all action,” she said. “We recognize that our neighborhood is being impacted by this and that we have kind of lost our ability to control that. This is our last moment to be able to share with you our concerns, and they’re grave.”

Greg Shepard, also a resident of Whitegate Crossing, stated to the board that adding a drive-thru to such a heavily trafficked area will pose significant dangers to drivers.

“There are a tremendous amount of accidents on Transit Road. Our exit to our cul-de-sac is pointing westbound. We cannot even get out of our driveway,” he said. “Now what you’re doing is cutting the distance, adding another flow of cars that are going to make a right, going north. The only signal is down at Clarence Center and Transit. We have enough problems there stopping that traffic.”

Bevilacqua noted that there remains no committed tenant for the project’s drive-thru. He also attempted to assuage resident concerns by saying that all of the project’s lighting fixtures are “dark sky compliant,” meaning that light will not spill over the property’s borders, and that he was able to eliminate an access cut onto Transit Road to mitigate potential traffic issues.

The potential drive-thru must navigate one last hurdle, as its tenant is subject to approval by the Town Board.

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