By Timothy Chipp
Senior Contributing Writer
Town of Niagara officials may be moving toward approving a planned industrial building by Uniland Development Corp., a project that’s been before them since June 2022.
Niagara’s Building Inspector Charles Haseley told councilmen Wednesday the final details are being nailed down for the proposal to build a 17-acre facility in the area of Woodside Place and Military Road, near the railroad overpass.
And with the plans nearly finalized, the project is recommended for approval.
With one caveat, though. A small buffer, setting off the development from the nearby JoAnn Circle residents, must be dedicated as part of the approval.
“You may want to consider this contingency for approval if it’s not finished,” Haseley said during the town’s scheduled work session.
The matter is expected to be resolved at the town’s next regular meeting, set for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday – a week earlier than the normal third Tuesday of the month due to the Thanksgiving holiday week.
The project ultimately, if approved, would see the industrial facility take up about 17 acres of an overall 26-acre space. Figuring out what to do with the remaining land, minus the buffer, has led to the project’s stalled progress.
Following a September public hearing for the project, where residents of the JoAnn Circle neighborhood spoke in opposition of rezoning the undeveloped land in the project for apartment development, town officials didn’t include the project on the October meeting agenda to continue negotiations for how to proceed.
Residents in the area preferred the remaining land be rezoned to R-1, which is a zoning for single-family dwellings, or for it to remain as it is, a “light industrial” dedication.
In October, Supervisor Lee Wallace appeared supportive of the “light industrial” option when discussing the project’s status.
Wallace said the board has full control over the land’s prospective use and can zone it what it wants at any time.
It was unclear Wednesday what decision was made about the zoning going forward.
In other Town Board news, an agreement to sell a solar farm in the Republic Services Allied Waste Niagara Falls Landfill is in negotiations between New York City-based AC Power 15 LLC and Florida-based Callibrant Energy.
AC Power 15 LLC, which proposed the array giving the town an option to keep generating revenue from a landfill that will soon cease operations, will hand over the facility should the sale be approved.
But, the operating contract required Town Board approval of any sale.
It’s expected to be approved Tuesday.
If the sale is finalized, the agreement with the town for a payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) negotiated in June will be transferred to Callibrant Energy. The town, as stated in the agreement, receives increasing payments over the next 14 years with the final amount set at $9,700 in 2038.