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September 21, 2022 - 4:30pm

Convenience store at Lewiston and Main gets go ahead from planning board

posted by Howard B. Owens in F&M Convenience, batavia, news, notify.

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A long-vacant retail location at 4169 West Main Street Road, Batavia, will soon open as a convenience store now that the man who signed a lease for the property has clarified his plans with the Town of Batavia Planning Board and the code enforcement officer.

Ali Musa started revamping the store, putting up lights and signs, before he cleared those changes with town officials.

Code Enforcement Officer Daniel Lang told planning board members on Tuesday night that over the decade, the file on the property has amassed 487 documents, including 21 different permits, and that after reviewing all of the documentation, Musa's business plan is in compliance with town code and the permitted use for the property.

"So it was not an easy task to get through everything," Lang said. "It was listed previously as retail so it's going from retail to retail, so there is not a significant change of use."

The project needed to come before the board for two reasons.  First, the property has been vacant for more than 18 months so the proposed use needed to be reviewed even though it isn't changing.  Second, the business sign for F&M Convenience needed approval.

By code, there was no requirement for a site plan review by the board.  The use is the same, the exterior of the building is not changing, the size of the sign on the building is unchanged, and the number and configuration of parking is exactly the same as it was for Clor's Meat Market.

"I just worry about the traffic," said Board Chairwoman Kathy Jasinski. 

Lang said, "Based on everything that I've reviewed throughout -- the traffic studies, and there were traffic studies done for every other use -- it doesn't change the use, so by the book, everything meets requirements and the parking lot itself, they have enough square footage for retail."

As for the sign, the proposed sign showed a misspelling. Musa said that would be corrected.  He also said he wanted to add to the sign "phone accessories."  

The board approved the sign with those modifications.

At one point, Musa apparently told the town that he planned to sell cannabis products. There was no discussion of such products being part of the new store's inventory.  

The Town of Batavia's code prohibits retail sales of cannabis products

Lang read a statement he received from Musa about what the store would offer: "Please be advised that we are planning on operating a small grocery store at this premises. We'll be selling groceries, beer, cigarettes, tobacco products, clothing and other miscellaneous household items."

Musa, who said he has operated businesses in Buffalo, said that at this time he does not intend to sell beer or other alcoholic beverages at his new store.

The final clarification had to do with lighting. Musa had installed flashing lights on the building.  Flashing lights are prohibited by town code.  Musa assured planners he won't have flashing lights.  Lang also clarified that any lighting on the property must have guards that keep the light from spilling over on neighboring property.

Once he had the board's blessing, Musa smiled broadly.

"Anything we could help with the community or anything we can come up with together," he said. "Thank you for today. We're happy to meet nice people in the area and we work together for the future. Thank you."

PreviouslyFuture convenience store planned for Town of Batavia

Top photo: Ali Musa, standing, speaking at Tuesday's Town of Batavia Planning Board meeting.

Photos by Howard Owens.

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