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Taco Bell Tests Green Code

A proposed Taco Bell in South Buffalo is seeking eight variances from the Zoning Board of Appeals this week. The 2,100 sq.ft. restaurant would replace the Amigone Funeral Home located at 184 Abbott Road. The Holland Trotta Project is the project applicant. The new restaurant would have a total of 47 new parking spaces, a drive-through, and would utilize the existing curb cuts off of Abbott Road. Additional site improvements include grading and new landscaping.

This list of variances includes:

Deficient in Build-to percentage; in Excess of Permitted Interior Side Yards; Deficient in Front Facade Transparency; in Excess of Ground Floor Blank Wall Width Front Facade; Drive-Through Facility Not Permitted; Drive-Through Facilities Not Permitted in Front Yard; Refuse/Recycling Storage Area Not Permitted in Front Yard; Interior Side and Front Yard Parking Not Permitted.

Some details on the variances from the applicant:

  • As per the City of Buffalo Zoning Code Section 3.2.9 D B, 85% of the front property line must be occupied by a building. As per the proposed plan, only 25% of the front property line is occupied by the proposed building thus requiring an area variance.
  • As per the City of Buffalo Zoning Code Section 3.2.9 D E(1), the minimum side setback for a building is 0 feet and a maximum side setback is 30 feet. As per the proposed plan, the minimum side setback for the proposed building is 74 feet and the maximum setback for the proposed is 109.7 feet thus requiring an area variance.
  • As per the City of Buffalo Zoning Code Section 2.8, a lot that abuts two non-intersecting public thoroughfares is considered a through lot. Since the subject parcel abuts both Abbott Road and Marbeth Court the parcel is considered a through-lot. This being said, the subject parcel contains two front yards. As per the City of Buffalo Zoning Code Section Section 3.2.9 D A, the minimum and maximum front yard setbacks is 0 feet. While the front setback on the South side of the site is 0 feet, the front setback on the North is 45 feet thus requiring an area variance.

And justifications:

  • By positioning the building in the center of the site in a north south orientation, it allows the parking fields to be installed along both sides of the building benefiting both the project and the patrons visiting the site. It also benefits the site by placing the parking on the sides of the building which is more aesthetically appealing in comparison to placing the parking in the front of the building which would not be as appealing.
  • The current existing structure on the property is a former funeral home and therefore is classified as an assembly type space. The proposed restaurant is also considered an assembly space. Being that the funeral business is not a viable structure for a proposed restaurant, and it is a limited market option by trade for the owner, the property owner is simply requesting to conduct business in kind with his surrounding neighboring businesses.
  • The current Taco Bell/KFC shared facility desires to expand each of their businesses into separate, individual structures, and we hope this should only be seen as a positive economic growth to the community. Lastly, it benefits the site by allowing optimal circulation around the building for not only the patrons visiting the site but also any emergency vehicles that need to access the site
  • Throughout the N-3E zoning district there are many buildings and sites that do not conform to the zoning requirements. Within proximity, there is the KFC/Taco Bell existing Drive-thru, several gas stations, restaurants, markets, etc. that draw similar type of customers and this type of business would remain in-kind and/or an upgraded amenity to the majority. Saying this, if the variances were granted, an undesirable change would not be produced in the character of the neighborhood or be a detriment to nearby properties.
  • While several of the variances appear to be substantial, they are in actuality not substantial if the proposed building was incorporated into a standard city lot. The subject parcel is both wide and deep. In order to comply with the City requirements, the proposed building would need to be 181 feet long which would then restrict any access to the site from Abbott Road. This type of structure would obviously not be viable nor desirable to the scale and/or lot density of the site.
  • Each of the surrounding businesses from this property were established prior to this date and are not in compliance with this code. We are cordially requesting to be considered an in-kind type business that is in unison with the surrounding properties.

The Zoning Board meets on Wednesday at 2 pm, City Hall Room 901.

Written by Buffalo Rising

Buffalo Rising

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