13 WHAM - "The Brighton Town Board voted Wednesday night to authorize and file the final environmental impact statement for the proposed Whole Foods development on Monroe Avenue.
The 500-plus page document will be used by the town to determine whether the project will move forward."
"A representative for the developers laid out several changes to the proposed project Wednesday night.
Developers have agreed to make improvements to a longer stretch of the Auburn Trail behind the property.
They also plan to create a rear access road behind businesses on the south side of Monroe Avenue across from the proposed Whole Foods site.
The goal would be to funnel traffic from that side of the road to the same traffic light for the Whole Foods.
Developers say they have also reached an agreement with the New York State Department of Transportation to add left-turn lanes on that stretch of Monroe Avenue.
Under the plan, the only way in and out of the Whole Foods parking lot would be from Monroe Avenue.
The final environmental impact statement also examines traffic patterns for a new Whole Foods store of the same size that opened in the Buffalo area in September.
According to the assessment, after the initial surge in traffic for the grand opening - traffic levels dropped to below original expectations.
For the proposed Brighton location, the report estimates that once the new retail plaza with the Whole Foods is fully developed, it would take a driver during peak hours an additional 22 seconds to travel between Westfall Road and Clover Street.
A representative for at least one neighborhood group opposing Whole Foods claimed that the town was not being transparent with the process, saying the agenda for Wednesday's town board meeting was not posted online until a few hours before if started.
The representative for the group claimed that gave members of the public little time to attend the meeting, and no opportunity to properly review the 500-plus page document.
Town leaders replied that multiple public hearings have been held since the first environmental impact statement was submitted 23 months ago.
Another public hearing is scheduled for February 28 where people can comment on the record about the project.
Town leaders say those comments will then be taken into consideration before a final decision is made."