Controversy percolating again over the Buffalo Lancaster Airport will come to a head Monday during the Lancaster Town Board meeting.
Two public hearings tied to the issue will be held at 7:15 p.m. as part of the town meeting, which will be held in the Lancaster Opera House instead of the Town Board meeting room. Town officials expect a large turnout and decided to move the meeting into the opera house, which can accommodate more residents.
Part of the latest flareup is renewed speculation by a segment of residents and Supervisor Dino Fudoli that the airport is on the verge of an expansion that could bring jets to the facility.
The town is holding a public hearing on the airport’s request for a special use permit. Another public hearing on a proposed local law, clarifying permitted uses in the town’s light-industrial zoning district, also will be held the same evening and is scheduled for the same time.
Founders of the Safe Aviation Coalition of Lancaster, along with some neighbors, say their quality of life and property values are impacted as they deal with low-flying planes using the airport. Others, meanwhile, question why the airport is the target of quality-of-life complaints from residents who bought homes near the already-existing airport.
More than a year ago, the airport had indicated it was looking to sell the facility due to mounting frustration over high taxes, strict regulations and neighbor opposition. That has not materialized, however, and now the airport has filed plans with the town.
The rural airport is located off Walden Avenue, near Pavement and Ransom roads. Many have long argued that it operates under unclear guidelines that may not be covered in the town’s code and zoning laws.
Councilman Mark Aquino sponsored the resolution for the hearings and said he does not have an opinion on the airport, but wants to see what public input yields.
Also this week:
• Fourth of July festivities will get underway in the Village of Lancaster beginning Wednesday afternoon in the Save-A-Lot parking lot at 10 Aurora St.
On Tuesday, early bird rides will be offered from 6 to 10 p.m. Then on Wednesday, rides will open again at 1 p.m. The beer garden opens at 5 p.m., with Country Night with West of the Mark entertainment featured from 7 to 11 p.m. Wednesday.
On Thursday, July 4, a flag raising will be held at 8 a.m. in Fireman’s Park, overlooking Cayuga Creek. Other activities round out the day, including a baby contest at 9 a.m., a Boys & Girls Club 10 K run, more rides, the Town Band performing on the village stage at noon, followed by the holiday parade at 2 p.m. The parade route runs along Pleasant Avenue from Court Street, south on Central Avenue. During the parade, signs will be posted to close the area to traffic from noon to 4 p.m. on Thursday only. No parking signs will be posted on side streets.
North Aurora Street from the bridge to Pleasant Avenue will be closed from Monday through Saturday, tied to preparation, the events and cleanup.
Fireworks will conclude Thursday’s events at 10 p.m. On tap for Friday are more rides, entertainment at 2 p.m. and also from 7 to 11 p.m. on the stage.
In meetings this week:
*The Lancaster Town Board first meets in a Municipal Review Committee meeting at 6 p.m. Monday on two state-required environmental reviews of two projects, followed by a work session at 6:30 p.m and regular business meeting at 7 p.m., including the two public hearings and airport debate. The board will meet in the Lancaster Opera House at 21 Central Ave.