Common Council to consider special zoning district for Gates Circle development

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)- Construction is underway on a Canterbury Woods Retirement community where the old Millard Fillmore Hospital at Gates Circle once stood. Neighbors are concerned about what else could go up on the property.

“They don’t want a big box store,” said Common Council Member Joel Feroleto.

Feroleto said he and Council President Darius Pridgen have been working with neighbors to create a special zoning district to limit the commercial space allowed.

“This is not standard for a project like this but this is very different,” said Feroleto. “This site used to be a hospital, it was here for over 50 years, and residents who live in the area are concerned and just want input on what happens.”

He said the special zoning would require retail space be at least 14,000 square feet or smaller, anything larger would need Common Council approval. The only exception will be for a grocery store and a gym.

TM Montante Development plans to build a grocery store, health and wellness center and apartments on the site. The special zoning district would prevent another developer from buying the property and changing those plans.

“[The zoning] stays with the property so, in the unlikely event a different developer acquires this property, those restrictions would still be in place,” said Feroleto.

We reached out to TM Montante Development and they sent us a statement that said, “We hear the concerns of our neighbors that they oppose ‘big box’ retail development on site.”

The statement goes on to say, “We are confident our special zoning district is the best solution that will allow us to deliver our vision for the site while also protecting the fabric of existing neighborhoods.”

The Common Council Legislative Committee will consider the special zoning on May 17 and there will be a public hearing. The Council is expected to hold a final vote by the end of the month.

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