WXXI AM News

Lawsuits filed over Whole Foods project in Brighton

May 7, 2018

The legal wrangling over the Whole Foods store proposed for a plaza on Monroe Avenue in Brighton continues.

Two new lawsuits were filed in recent days including one by a group called Brighton Grassroots. Howie Jacobson is a managing member of that organization.

He says their group, which includes both residents and business owners, does not like the fact that Brighton town officials used something called incentive zoning, which led to one of the recent approvals. That kind of zoning allows developers to offer certain improvements in exchange for zoning variances.

But Jacobson says his group doesn’t feel that’s the right way to deal with this project.

Brighton Grassroots has brought this lawsuit to let the town board, the supervisor, and the developers know that we will not tolerate the way that they are misusing and misrepresenting incentive zoning. The town of Brighton and its residents should be the beneficiaries of incentive zoning, not to be taken advantage of by developers.”

A statement from one of the developers, Anthony Daniele, says that it is disappointing that after working out a compromise, what he calls, “well-funded opposition” continues to attack the town and neighborhood businesses.

It’s a project that Daniele says would be a "win-win-win for the town, residents and developer," while the lawsuit is a “lose-lose-lose.”

A Brighton Town official says the town has not yet been served with the legal papers so they couldn’t comment yet.

Another lawsuit filed recently by a group called Save Monroe also takes issue with the incentive zoning process.