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Wednesday, October 9, 2013 at 12:35 pm

'They paved paradise, put up a parking lot'

post by Howard Owens in batavia, business, Tim Horton's

Each June, one of the most stunning sights in Batavia came as you made a corner on West Main Street and were confronted with the sight of a giant Catalpa tree in full flower near Colonial Boulevard.

A blue sky and a shock of white flowers made for a beautiful scene, even amid cars, trucks and business signs.

The tree came down this morning to make way for retail development next to a planned new Tim Horton's between West Main and Lewiston Road.

I can't think of any place else in Genesee County that has a Catalpa tree in easy view of the public. There's apparently no tree museum around, either.

Previously: Photos: Tree on West Main Street, Batavia

Wednesday, September 18, 2013 at 1:19 pm

One more final approval needed for new Tim Horton's of Lewiston Road

post by Howard Owens in batavia, business, Tim Horton's

It looks like a go for a new Tim Horton's on the west side of Batavia. The Town Planning Board was given a chance to see the final plans for the coffee shop and adjacent retail building last night and it doesn't appear there will be any opposition.

The final site plan is expected to be approved at the board's next meeting Oct. 1.

The location is between West Main Street Road and Lewiston Road behind Rite Aid. There will be driveways on Lewiston Road and Colonial Boulevard.

One Colonial Boulevard resident was at Tuesday's meeting, Amy DiSalvo. Tim Horton's architect Matt Oats showed how the plans included a privacy fence along DiSalvo's property and she said she was satisfied with the plan.

The Tim Horton's will seat 48 people, including 16 in an outdoors patio area. it will also have a drive-thru.

On the West Main Street side of the road will be a retail building that can accommodate from one to three tenants. There are no signed leases yet for the space. 

The entire parcel with both buildings erected will have 45 parking spaces.

Construction on the retail building can begin as soon as the site plan is removed. 

Workers can't build the Tim Horton's building until the current brick building on Lewiston is removed, with demolition requiring environmental approvals.

Bob Bender, project manager for Benderson Development, said he hopes construction can begin in November and weather permitting, construction will take 90 days.

The franchise owner for the location has not yet been announced.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013 at 10:21 am

Tim Horton's proposal highlights growing traffic problem at Lewiston and West Main

post by Howard Owens in batavia, business, Tim Horton's

Town of Batavia Highway Superintendent Tom Lichtenthal and engineer Joey Neth spent an hour on the rooftop of the Rite Aid overlooking Lewiston Road and videotaped the traffic flow, or lack of it.

The resulting highlight reel, played for the Town of Batavia Planning Board on Tuesday night, captured eight near-miss accidents, two dangerous maneuvers by drivers, five unsafe mid-road crossings by pedestrians and two bicycle crossings.

An hour observing West Main Street Road near Colonial Boulevard didn't yield much better results.

For the Lewiston Road side, the driveway for Rite Aid and the driveway for the Tops Plaza, essentially create an intersection, and over the past three years, there have been seven accidents at that intersection.

That's seven times the state DOT average, Lichtenthal said.

"What's going on here is we have so many conflict points, when you look at this intersection; you've got cars merging here; you've got a wide open driveway where one makes a right turn and one makes a left turn; you've got pedestrians trying to cross in the middle of traffic, plus cars coming off the Main Street intersection, and you're looking at all of these things coming together right here, and that's why you get so many of these types of accidents," Lichtenthal said.

The traffic study was conducted because Tim Horton's wants to build a new store behind the Rite Aid, that would connect, essentially, Lewiston with Main.

The overall traffic Tim Horton's is likely to generate isn't that significant by itself -- an average of 50 to 60 cars an hour, with 60 percent of Tim Horton's traffic occurring in a three-hour period in the morning.

Technically, the road capacity in the area, can handle the volume, Lichtenthal said, but the construction of the multiple turning lanes and intersections in the area make for very messy traffic patterns.

It's a situation that's only going to get worse with the expansion of Batavia Towne Center and Batavia Downs.

Lichtenthal said that, unfortunately, it's a classic case of the last one (in this case, Tim Horton's) getting stuck dealing with the problem.

Matthew J. Oates (photo), chief engineer for Benderson Development Co. took a different view.

The combined retail space for Tops Plaza, Rite Aid and the other retail in the area is more than 220,000 square feet, while the Benderson development is less than 20,000 square feet.

He said just as the DOT did when problems got too bad on Jefferson Road and Ridge Road in Rochester, the growing traffic problems on Lewiston and West Main are a DOT issue and shouldn't hold up development of Tim Horton's.

"I understand the town sees a large issue with the traffic, but without the traffic, we wouldn't have the interest in the development and without the traffic, Tim Horton's wouldn't be coming here, so one follows the other," Oates said.

Lichtenthal pointed out that the DOT is out of money and the Feds aren't sending highway grants down the pipeline any longer to help with local traffic issues.

"The DOT is now looking back and the towns and saying, 'you let this development happen without looking at the repercussions on the roadways. Now you expect us to fix it, ' " Lichtenthal said, "and they're telling the towns, 'you fix it.' "

The environmental review process was extended by consent of the planning board and Benderson in order to see if a solution can be found, or plan developed, to deal with the growing traffic issues.

Tim Horton's is just one step along the way, Lichtenthal said.

"These are baby steps," Lichtenthal said. "You take these baby steps and add them together and it's a big step and then what do you do?"

Last week, the Geness County Economic Development Center Board approved $1.7 million in tax breaks for COR Development to add four more retail spaces to the Batavia Towne Center in the location of the former Lowe's store.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 10:44 am

Property between Lewiston and Main will be more than just a Tim Horton's

post by Howard Owens in batavia, business, development, Tim Horton's

A Tim Horton's is only the first phase of planned development for a parcel of property wedged in between Lewiston Road, Main Street and Colonial Boulevard, the developer revealed Tuesday night at a Town of Batavia Planning Board meeting.

Besides the coffee shop, Benderson Development Co. plans to erect a retail building and a drive-thru ATM location.

No tenants have been found for those uses, yet, said Matthew J. Oates (photo), the company's chief engineer, but the company didn't want to surprise planners later, after Horton's is approved -- assuming it is -- with an expanded development.

Kathy Jasinski, board chairwoman, said the town only found out about the planned additional uses on Monday.

Benderson has recently completed a traffic study covering the anticipated impact of both Tim Horton's and the proposed retail location and those results were turned over Monday to the town and the DOT for analysis.

Town Engineer Steve Mountain said that traffic study will be given to the town's traffic consultant for review.

Traffic was one of the chief concerns raised by town residents, primarily those on Colonial Boulevard, who attended Tuesday's public hearing on the Tim Horton's plan.

Lewiston and Main is already a congested intersection and traffic patterns down Main Street can make it difficult, Colonial Boulevard residents said, to get on and off their street.

What that traffic impact will be and how any problems might be mitigated remains an open question until both the town's consultant and the DOT complete an analysis of the traffic study.

The board made no decision about the planned development, but did begin the process of declaring itself the lead agency for environmental review purposes.

Residents also expressed concern about light and noise coming from the 24-hour operation.

Amy DiSalvo said her house is right next to the proposed Tim Horton's location and she's concerned about parking lot light spilling over onto her property as well as headlights shining on her house.

Oates said the position of the building will act as a buffer for headlights and noise for Colonial Boulevard residents, and Bob Bender, real estate project planner for Tim Horton's, said the project will use "dark sky lights," which will have zero spill over onto adjacent property.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 10:18 am

New Tim Horton's on Lewiston Road one step closer to approval

post by Howard Owens in batavia, business, Tim Horton's

Tim Horton's is moving forward with plans for a new location in Batavia, on Lewiston Road, near West Main Street Road, and the company cleared another regulatory hurdle Monday night.

The Town of Batavia Zoning Board approved a setback variance for the restaurant building, allowing the structure to be located about 15 feet from the property line.

The current, vacant, building is 10 feet from the property line and the local zoning law requires a 30-foot setback, unless a variance is granted.

The zoning board approved the variance unanimously.

The board also completed a short-form environmental review and found that the one issue to be resolved is what traffic impact a Tim Horton's will have on the already busy intersection of Lewiston and West Main.

A couple of area residents spoke out against the proposed location saying additional traffic will make an already bad intersection all that much more dangerous.

A Department of Transportation traffic study for the proposed site has already been ordered and the town's planning board will take up that issue and any other issues at a public hearing Dec. 5.

Bob Bender, real estate project planner for Tim Horton's, said he doesn't know what the traffic study will show and didn't speculate about any findings.

There would be two ingress and egress points to the proposed location, one off of Lewiston Road and the other off West Main Street. The blueprint shows the West Main driveway in the same location as this tree.

The building will be 1,953 square feet.

A franchise owner for the location will not be announced until the project is approved, Bender said.

If the project is approved, construction would start in March or April.

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