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Property on Clark Street near the Hamburg fairgrounds will be rezoned commercial, but not until the owner, a well-known garden center, brings its back parking lot into compliance with town codes.

Hamburg Town Board members Monday night approved rezoning 15.3 acres at 4462 Clark St. owned by Lockwood’s Greenhouses & Nursery from industrial park-research and development district and multi-family district to local retail business district.

But the rezoning will not go into effect until Lockwood’s provides a landscape/buffer enhancement plan for the area between the site’s new parking area and adjoining residential properties. The plan must include the screening requirements for parking lots abutting residential properties, which would include landscaping or fencing.

The rezoning had been recommended by the Planning Board and the Planning Department.

“We’re trying to accommodate a business that has been there 100 years,” Town Planner Drew Reilly said.

But neighbors should not be concerned that the town is designating the entire area as commercial, Reilly told board members in their work session before the board’s regular meeting. The change in zoning is for a single property, and the new zoning allows garden centers with outdoor display areas. “We aren’t sending a signal that this area should be commercial,” Reilly said.

The rezoning is not in conformance with the comprehensive plan, which does not call for commercial zoning in that area, but the current zoning impedes the property owner’s ability to make changes to the property, the Planning Board held.

The Town Board put several other restrictions on the rezoning, including requiring a deed restriction to prohibit the construction of hotels or motels, banks and drive-through banks at the site. Future development will require site plan approval by the Planning Board. The town also determined any future development should be set back a minimum of 50 feet from the property line.

Officials also announced that the town will continue operating the therapeutic pool at the Senior Center at 4150 Sowles Road after the town consolidates its Senior Center and adult day care center at the Frontier Central School District’s Learning Center on Southwestern Boulevard. The town will lease the school for the cost of the annual bond payment, which is between $50,000 and $55,000. Hamburg is to take possession of the building in July, but renovations will be made before the programs move. The pool will continue its current programming, Supervisor Steven Walters said.

The board, Police Chief Michael Williams, the town’s Domestic Violence program and Hamburg Village Mayor Thomas Moses Sr. also recognized and honored Betty B. Newell, the former president of the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce. Newell retired in February after 18 years with the chamber.

email: bobrien@buffnews.com