Last year the Rite Aid Corporation and a developer went to Buffalo City Hall with a plan to double the size of its 6,000 s.f. convenience store and expand to a 42 car parking lot in the Elmwood Neighborhood, which is protected by special zoning that allows only 2,500 s.f. retail buildings. Officials in Buffalo City Hall refused to rubber stamp the deal, say area sprawl-busters, and the issue was sent through the public hearing process. After three public meetings, the City’s Zoning Board of Appeals turned Rite Aid down. The developer has now filed suit against Buffalo, using the name “9274 Group”, and filing the case outside of Buffalo in the city of Batavia. The neighborhood group, Forever Elmwood, is trying to defend the neighborhood from Rite Aid, and to protect the zoning ordinances that have preserved the quality of life in the whole area. The developer chose a city 45 miles away from Buffalo to file his case. Area residents charge that this is a blatant attempt to “hide” the case from the public’s eye.
Can anyone fathom why Rite Aid would try to locate a 12,000 s.f. convenience store in an area zoned with a cap of 2,500 s.f? Is this some kind of corporate learning disability? Could it be treated with medication? The group Forever Elmwood is in need of financial assistance in fighting off this zoning attack from Rite Aid. If you’d like to help cover their legal fees, contact Bill Wisniewski at 716-883-4745. For other tales of Rite Aid, continue reviewing entries on these Newflash files.