Just six weeks after plans for Cabela’s Crossing in Cheektowaga were made public, the town’s review process is proceeding at a brisk pace.
Monday night, the Town Board approved the site plan, with conditions, for the 88,000-square-foot store – the first in New York State for the nationally known outdoor retailer, and a neighboring four-story, 108-room hotel. Benderson Development owns and manages the development.
“We are trying to move this project along quickly,” said Councilman Stanley J. Kaznowski III. “There’s no impact on any residents.”
Cabela’s Crossing would replace the former Wegmans Food market in what’s been known as Walden Village shopping center. The Home2 Suites by Hilton would be built between the Burlington Coat Factory and the Thruway. Its target market is the regional and Canadian shoppers who visit the area.
Construction on the store is expected to begin this fall, with opening expected in the fall of 2014. Cabela officials have said the store is expected to employ up to 200 full-time, part-time and seasonal employees, and there are no plans to seek government assistance or tax breaks, other than those available to anyone.
The site requires the town engineer’s approval of modifications to the existing drainage system and driveway modifications within the Duke Road right of way. The town’s Zoning Board of Appeals, which meets next week, also needs to act on a few variances.
The Town Board also issued a negative declaration regarding potential environmental impacts.
“It’s going to be a nice complex,” said Councilman James P. Rogowski, who held up a drawing of the proposal. He also noted the lack of residential impacts.
But that’s not the case for a drive-thru Checkers restaurant proposed for 2563 Union Road, which was the subject of a lengthy public hearing Monday night. Infrastructure and landscaping were installed on the site several years ago, when town officials approved a larger retail business that never was built.
Richard D. Hibbs, a father of two whose house is immediately south of the site, had numerous requests. Some – including installation of an eight-foot tall vinyl fence to replace the six-foot wooden fence previously installed by Benderson Development – received oral agreement from attorney James Boglioli, who works for the developer.
But Boglioli flatly refused Hibbs’s request that the business close at 11 p.m.; proposed operating hours are until 1 a.m. weeknights and 3 a.m. weekends. “That’s not feasible,” Boglioli said.
The Town Board reserved decision Monday night on requests for a special use permit for the drive-thru window and a variance to reduce the required distance between the bypass lane edge of the pavement and the neighboring residential property from 75 feet to 10 feet.