Dining Decision

New Taco Bell Location Coming To Lakewood

A new Taco Bell restaurant is tentatively planned for a parcel of land between Olive Garden and Ruby Tuesday in the Chautauqua Mall parking lot. The plan was reviewed by the Lakewood Village Board on Monday. P-J photo by Eric Zavinski

LAKEWOOD — A new Taco Bell restaurant is tentatively planned for the empty lot between Olive Garden and Ruby Tuesday on Fairmount Avenue in Lakewood.

The Village Board unanimously agreed that the parcel should undergo a site plan review from the Village Planning Board in May. The call for development on Chautauqua Mall property was handled through village building inspector Jeffrey Swanson.

“Although the total square footage of the project is 2,600 feet, which is under the threshold for site plan review,” Swanson wrote, “I believe it is a significant enough project that it warrants site plan review.”

Plans were submitted and posted in the Anthony Caprino Municipal Building for meeting attendees to see a rough outline of the planned development. The planning board will conduct the site plan review May 15 at 7 p.m. during its regular meeting. The project to develop the out-parcel has also been referred to the Chautauqua County Department of Planning and Economic Development for additional review.

It is currently unknown how this new Taco Bell location will affect the currently operating Taco Bell and KFC hybrid restaurant at 270 E. Fairmount Avenue. Chautauqua Mall has yet to share official comments.

From left, Lakewood Village Trustee Ellen Barnes, Tree Committee Chairman Richard Rose, Deputy Mayor Ted McCague, Trustee Doug Schutte and Trustee Randy Holcomb pose with a Tree City USA plaque awarded to the village.

A permit was also filed and approved to expand Walmart with light indoor renovations and a canopy planned to be set up at the east side of the surrounding parking lot. Customers will be able to take out groceries from this area, and handicap access is planned to be improved.

In other news, the village was recognized as a 2019 Tree City by the Arbor Day Foundation. Village Tree Committee Chairman Richard Rose thanked the village trustees and fellow committee members — Val Dow and Tammy Bakewell — for their work in helping to secure grants and other monies to plant more trees.

Lakewood has been recognized by Tree City USA for having a tree committee, tree care ordinance, community forestry program and Arbor Day observance. The village’s Arbor Day Ceremony will be hosted Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Richard O. Hartley Park Gazebo. The ceremony will feature a tree planting and refreshments.

The Tree Committee was formed in the 1990s, with hundreds of trees planted through members’ efforts since its inception. Trees have been planted at the Richard O. Hartley Park, LaGrega Field, Community Boat Launch, Veterans Memorial Park, Lakewood Dog Park and various city roadways, including Fairdale and Summit streets.

Through a notice submitted at the village meeting by Bakewell, the urban forestry plan was further detailed. Future goals include planting trees in the remaining 56 percent of available sites in the village. Trees of diverse ages and species are preferred to increase the canopy of large trees in the future.

With no amendments added since the public hearing earlier this month for the village 2019-20 budget, the trustees reviewed and approved the tentative budget for the fiscal year beginning June 1.

Village Treasurer Andrea Windoft was authorized to transfer $3,000 from the fire inspector’s account to the treasurer’s salary to account for the newly hired and appointed part-time village treasurer.

Follow Eric Zavinski at twitter.com/EZavinski