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Mark Tufillaro was given final approval Wednesday night for his subdivision on Milestrip Road in Orchard Park – nearly 15 years after he proposed it.

The developer brought plans for Knoche Farms, a 97-lot subdivision on the north side of Milestrip west of Transit Road, to the Planning Board meeting July 8, 1998. The half-acre lots will be developed in three phases, said Leanne Voit of Greenman Pedersen Inc.

Tufillaro said that it has been a long haul, but “I’m happy now.”

The project underwent extensive environmental review, including a full environmental-impact statement.

While the Knoche Farms property had been agricultural, it is adjacent to the former Nike Base, which had been used as a federal radar facility from the 1950s to 1962, and later was used for research purposes by Roswell Park Cancer Institute, according to the environmental-impact statement.

Orchard Park planners apparently wanted to make sure there was nothing hazardous left over from activities at the Nike base, and required extensive environmental studies to prove that.

Tufillaro said that because of the length of the review by the town, he needed to complete several studies several times, including five sewer studies and three traffic studies because previous studies had expired.

Much of the vacant farmland will be stripped for construction of roads during each phase.

“An area designed as open space for the town will stay as is,” Voit said. That 7.3-acre section will be turned over to the town for recreation.

Tufillaro said he expects to start construction in the first week in July.

email: bobrien@buffnews.com