The Cheektowaga Zoning Board of Appeals on Wednesday took no action on requests for sign and landscaping variances on the site of a proposed Walmart Supercenter at 2500 Walden Ave.
Walmart proposes installing a sign in front of the store. The sign would be 507 square feet, which is more than twice as large as the maximum 200 square feet allowed by the town.
arc A. Romanowski, an attorney representing Walmart, said the proposed sign would be in line with the scale of the store.
“When you look at in the context of the square footage of the front of the store, [the proposed 507-square-foot sign] only constitutes 3.5 percent [of the wall space in the front of the store]. There is over 14,000 square feet of wall space on the front of the store, so this is a real minor amount,” Romanowski said.
Walmart proposes constructing a 183,000-square-foot, 24-hour superstore to replace its current Thruway Plaza location, creating 85 new and mostly full-time jobs, officials have said. In addition to permission for a larger-than-allowed sign, Walmart and Benderson Development seek variances on the amount of green space required on the 23-acre parcel, which is currently the site of the Super Flea & Farmers’ Market.
“Quite frankly, if you treated it as a series of different independent stores, there are three or four different entrances coming into the store. Each of them, if they were separate businesses, would take up 200 square feet of their own. So you could have up to 800 square feet in that area,” Romanowski told the zoning board.
He said the requested variances are all associated with the lot that already contains a Manhattan Bagel franchise.
“The way the site plan is proposed, we don’t have any green space being created around that site. It just makes it easier for traffic flow in that area,” Romanowski said.
“We’ll make it function like a single development, even though it’s going to be owned by Benderson and the Walmart side will be owned by Walmart,
“It’s all one parcel now,” he said. “Currently, it’s about a 23-acre parcel, and it’s being split into three parcels:
• A 17-acre parcel for Walmart;
• A 4- to 5-acre parcel for a warehouse that Benderson owns on the rear northeast corner;
• Just over an acre associated with the Manhattan Bagel site.”
The way the code is written, the developers need a 25-foot front buffer area. They would need an additional 25 feet of green space in the rear of that lot.
“Obviously, if you put 25 feet of green space in there, you’ve now eliminated a drive lane,” Romanowski said. “Reciprocally, you’d need 10 feet on the back side, so not only would you have 25 feet on the Walmart side, you’d have to have 10 feet on the Manhattan Bagel side.”
He noted that that, currently there is just a thin strip of grass in the back of the lot.
The zoning board next meets Dec. 3 at Town Hall.