OK on impact statement a major step for Lowe's

A proposed Geneseo Lowe's has cleared another hurdle, as on April 7 the Geneseo Town Planning Board voted to accept a final version of a statement concerning the project's environmental impact.

According to the Livingston County News, representatives from Newman Development, the company proposing the plan, presented the State Environmental Quality Review's required Final Environmental Impact Statement, which outlines the project's natural, social, economic and historical impacts.

The entire project, if approved, will eventually include a 138,000-square foot Lowe's superstore and a 15,000-square foot pharmacy.

The document's initial approval by the board moves the project into a 10-day "consideration period," in which the board will consider whether or not they find the document satisfactory. On April 28, the board will finalize its "findings statement," and publish it by May 7.

Should the document pass again, the board will still need to approve the site plan and the town's Architectural Review Committee must pass a design review. In the event that the Town Board feels the environmental impacts are too severe, the Lowe's project would not move on any further.

"A negative finding would effectively kill the project," the article said.

Only two board members voted against the statement's approval; much of the opposition stemmed from concerns about traffic flow in the area.

Marge Wilkie, one of the dissenters, was worried that traffic on Route 20A would be halted by customers making a left turn into the Lowe's.

Other board members were concerned about traffic on Volunteer Road, Center Street and Lima Road, but offered suggestions for improving the situation, such as traffic lights and signage.

Patti LaVigne, who also voted no, said in the article that she wanted the statement to "more clearly reflect the benefits the project would have on community tax."

"Whether or not the money is used in Geneseo or other townships, we don't have control [over it]," LaVigne told the Livingston County News.

According to the article, Corrin Strong of the group Please Don't Destroy Geneseo called the statement "woefully lacking" and indicated that the board's assessment "has planted the seeds for a successful lawsuit."