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May 27, 2009

 

Public hearing set on Tops gas station plans

C’ville Planning Board will hold hearing June 30 as it begins environmental review

By ELAINE HUGHES
Staff Reporter
ehughes@cortlandstandard.net

CORTLANDVILLE––The town Planning Board has scheduled a June 30 public hearing on a proposed gas station that would be built in front of Tops Market.
Since January, the board has been reviewing the supermarket company’s application to build a four-pump gas station on the corner of Tops’ parking lot off Route 281.
The board also voted at its meeting Tuesday to become the project’s lead agency, which would make the board responsible for completing the project’s environmental review and forming plans to mitigate any potential impacts on the environment.
Town Attorney John Folmer said interested agencies, such as the state Department of Environmental Conservation and the county Soil and Water Conservation District, would be sent letters that state the board’s intent to become the project’s lead agency.
As required by state law, these agencies will have 30 days to offer comments on the board’s ability to lead the project’s environmental review.
Folmer said the public hearing may be postponed if another body offers to become the project’s lead agency but he thought the chances of this are “slim to none.”
Tops’ latest plans for the proposed station include several safety features, such as double-walled storage tanks, a condensation sensor that could detect any spilled liquids in the storage tanks, and a maintenance company that would be available 24 hours a day to respond to any alarms at the station.
The grocery chain has a maintenance company in Rochester that is responsible for responding to alarms at its stores in the region. Attorney Mike Biehler said Tops is looking to contract with a local company to be the first responder to any alarms at the Cortlandville station.
Since February, the town has received letters opposing the project from the city Common Council, the county Health Department and the town’s water department, saying the gas station would be located too close to the water supply for the town and the city.
In March, the county Planning Board recommended the town deny the grocery store’s request for an aquifer protection permit but did not make a recommendation to the town in its second review of the proposal on May 20.
At its next meeting, Town Planning Officer Bruce Weber said the town Planning Board will start a State Environmental Quality Review Act Assessment Form to decide if the project will have any impact on the environment.
Before Tops can begin building the gas station, the grocery store must have its site plans approved by the town Planning Board and receive an aquifer protection permit from the Town Board.
In other business, the town Planning Board approved plans for an Asian take-out restaurant called China City to operate from the former site of a United Postal Service store along Route 281.
Business owner Li Zheng said the eatery will open “as soon as possible.”

 

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