A planned Jehovah’s Witnesses worship hall at the northeast corner of Shimerville and Roll roads is proving controversial.
The project went before the Planning Board last week, seeking approval for an early step in the review process. Several residents spoke up about the project, citing concerns such as increased traffic, stormwater control and adequate “buffering” from neighboring properties, said Robert Sackett, the Planning Board’s chairman.
David Singer, a trustee in the corporation sponsoring the project and a congregation elder, said the organization will follow up with the residents. “We plan to address all of their concerns and our goal is to make sure everybody is comfortable” with the project, he said.
As proposed, the 4,000-square-foot Kingdom Hall would serve two congregations, each with 60 to 65 people, who would meet there at different times. Plans call for selling an existing worship hall on Main Street in Amherst, west of Transit Road. Singer said that building dates to the 1950s and needs upgrades; leaders decided to instead invest in a new building, at a location which would also be convenient for some congregation members who live in Clarence and Akron.
The Planning Board agreed to send the project for “coordinated review,” the next step in the approval process. Separately, the board approved design, architectural style and development plans for Affordable Senior Housing Opportunities of New York’s 125-unit senior apartment complex at 8040 Roll Road, with conditions attached. Those conditions include taking care of issues such as buffering, sidewalks and site lighting.
Also this week:
• A Planning Board executive meeting will be 9 a.m. Monday at Town Hall.
• Clarence resident Robert E. Wilczak will discuss his book, “Eye of the Eagle,” about the Revolutionary War and Benedict Arnold, at 7 p.m. Monday at the Clarence Public Library.
• The School Board will meet at 7 p.m. Monday at Clarence Center Elementary School, 9600 Clarence Center Road.
• The Town Board will meet at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Town Hall, following a 6 p.m. work session.
• The Clarence Industrial Development Agency will hold its organizational meeting at 8 a.m. Thursday at Town Hall.