Weekly Feature



2017-12-20 / Local News

Eastgate Plaza to see expansion without traffic light

by ETHAN POWERS
Editor

Eastgate Plaza may soon see a 4,500-square-foot expansion, potentially adding to a nightmare egress for vehicles onto Transit Road.

At the Town Board’s Dec. 13 meeting, Benderson Development requested a building permit and architectural approval for expansion to Eastgate Plaza. The permit pertains to an existing commercial building at 4927 Transit Road, currently occupied by Yankee Candle.

The expansion calls for the property to be doubled in size to 9,000 square feet.

“The expansion is over in an area that is already asphalt,” said James Boglioli, an attorney for Benderson. “It still maintains no connection to Transit Road but maintains a connection to the shopping center through the driveway as it currently does.”

Boglioli noted that while a pedestrian connection will be added to Eastgate Shopping Center, the state Department of Transportation rejected Benderson’s proposal for a traffic light at the site’s Transit Road exit. According to Boglioli, Benderson was told by the state that despite the danger of making left turns from the exit as it currently exists, adding a traffic light would facilitate more left turns, almost paradoxically creating an even more hazardous situation.

“The reason they rejected it is because that driveway is so dangerous,” he said. “Every so often when I’m parked in traffic, you see people trying to make a left and cannot get out because of the traffic on Transit. It’s because of that situation that they won’t allow the signal.”

Larry Meckler, attorney for the Town of Clarence, summarized the anomaly.

“Too dangerous to fix,” he said.

In a separate matter, the Town Board conducted its annual review of Clarence 2030, the town’s comprehensive plan. The town unanimously adopted the plan last December.

Both the Town Board and Planning Board, in conjunction with the town’s Planning Department, began working on a new comprehensive plan in 2013. The intent of the plan is to include functional plans for housing, transportation and public utilities. It also outlines zoning ordinances, development regulations, building codes and design standards.

Bob Poczik, vice chairman of the Senior Center’s board of directors, lauded the plan and encouraged Town Board members to continue looking toward the feasibility of building a townwide community center.

“Any good plan doesn’t end with its adoption. In my view, the comprehensive plan is a launching pad for the future of the town; it is an excellent framework for future development; it is solidly grounded in geographic and economic analysis. It is indeed comprehensive and forward-looking,” he said.

“I believe there is a great need for a center that would bring together people of all ages from all parts of the town, to promote learning, well-being and a greater sense of community.”

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