AMHERST, NY (WKBW) — Benderson Development wants to build a large Delta Sonic warehouse on a plot of land on a commercial plaza along Ridge Lea Road in the town of Amherst.
But some residents are saying, “not in my backyard”.
They fear the large facility would house too many dangerous chemicals.
The Amherst Town Board is considering approval of rezoning the area for the warehouse.
But residents are outraged, saying Benderson development and the town have not provided information they are seeking.
The proposed warehouse would literally be right behind their homes on Meyer Road.
“It doesn't fit in this neighborhood — look around,” declared Geri Dicosmo, resident.
“Who'd want to live with this in your back yard,” replied William Kleise resident.
Dicosmo and Kleis live in their home on Meyer Road and say they've been asking a number of times what industrial chemicals would be stored at the proposed warehouse.
Benderson, owner of Delta Sonic and the commercial plaza, is looking to relocate its warehouse where it mixes soap, stores materials and manufactures equipment.
Residents say it will be a massive structure 37-feet tall, right behind their homes.
“It’s going to be within 50-feet of our property line, 200-parking spaces for what they tell us is only 30-employees. It's going to be 600-feet long — that's almost two football fields long,” Dicosmo remarked.
The site is currently zoned for commercial mixed use — not industrial. Some have referred to the proposed warehouse as a ‘soap factory’.
But Amherst Town Supervisor Brian Kulpa says it is not a factory. He says Delta Sonic would only be mixing the soap with water.
“They take soap, that is concentrated — like you would get concentrated orange juice and they mix it with water and then ship it to their facilities. They’re not making the soap, but they ware house it,” Kulpa explained.
Kulpa says the company wants to use 100,000 square feet for storage of paper products, towels and other supplies and the other 8,000 square feet for the soap storage.
I’ve reached out to both Benderson and Delta Sonic for comment, but are still waiting for a response.
“It’s this misnomer that's been placed on what Delta Sonic is really doing. It’s a shipping and receiving facility,” Kulpa noted,
“They're not hand soaps — they're soaps that get road tar, oil, grease — off of your car,” Kleis remarked.
Kulpa says the site was previously zoned for freight, but then was changed.
“We wouldn't allow an industrial plant back there — the question is whether or not we will allow shipping and receiving,” Kupla said.
Benderson is seeking a rezoning for freight services.
But residents say they don't believe it's that simple.
“It’s been so secret — there's been no transparency,” resident Sheila Goldberg.
Residents say they fear materials used by the company could pose a danger to their neighborhood as well as students at nearby Sweet Home Middle School and baseball diamonds across the road.
“Three states worth of product are going to be consolidated in this area,” replied Dicosmo. “We’ve asked many times — what those chemicals are exactly.
The homeowners say they fear their property values could plummet as a result of this proposal.
The town board will be meeting Tuesday, January 18. Kulpa tells me the rezoning could be voted on at that session.