A long-discussed plan to add a gas station at a Black Rock supermarket was approved by the Common Council on Tuesday without debate.
In making the case to build a gas station at Tops, 333 Amherst St., store representatives have said that without new revenue, the future of the store is in doubt. But environmental advocates and others expressed concerns about the site’s proximity to Scajaquada Creek.
After a necessary approval from the city Planning Board and a positive letter from the city’s Environmental Management Commission, the Council voted overwhelmingly to approve the gas station.
“There was no legal reason not to support Tops,” said North Council Member Joseph Golombek.
Tops had unsuccessfully proposed a gas station at the store twice before, and some opponents were hoping the Council would change course this time.
Jesse Kregal, main proponent of a pathway along Scajaquada Creek, which now bears his name, submitted letters to all Council members stating that gas pumps next to the creek are “not compatible with its environment.”
Gas pumps would be a “long-term health hazard for Western New York,” Michelle Stieglitz of the Scajaquada Pathway Committee said after the meeting.
Comments from the public, and Tops, had been received during prior Council committee meetings and were not aired during Tuesday’s meeting.
Tops representatives have said that with controls they are putting in, including storm water treatment for the entire parking lot, not just the part that Tops owns, the environment will be better than if the store keeps the status quo.
The store is adding trees in the Grant-Amherst area, installing picnic benches, raising the curb of the lot in case of flooding, creating a safer entrance from the bike path to the site, and improving the design of the canopy compared with other stations.
Fillmore Council Member David A. Franczyk voted no and said after the meeting that he has known Mark Kubiniec, president of the Grant-Amherst Business Association, for 25 years and believes that his environmental concerns are sincere.