Brighton Whole Foods Plaza case to go to trial in December

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BRIGHTON, N.Y. (WHEC) — The Whole Foods Plaza saga has been going on for more than six years after several lawsuits.

Both sides are declaring victory in the latest legal battle that will ultimately lead to a trial in December.

In the 84-page document, a state Supreme Court Justice threw out all but one claim brought against the Daniele Family who are the developers of this project in the plaza on Monroe Avenue.

Brighton Grassroots organization has been fighting this project alongside two other community groups from the start and now both sides say going to trial is a win.

“We don’t want it built over the auburn trail, we don’t want a bypass. We want what the law requires which is for the town to allow the residents to vote and then they can ask the state legislature,” Howie Jacobson said.

The Daniele Family has been working for several years to develop property in Brighton on Monroe Avenue and build a Whole Foods.

In order to build as big as they wanted to, the town of Brighton granted variances through incentive zoning and the Daniele’s agreed to rebuild the nearby auburn bike trail, which the public uses for several activities.

“Today after six years of fighting with lawsuits, we are going to be in court to hopefully prevail and get the town residents to vote to stop this project and shrink the size,” Jacobson said.

Howie Jacobson is the managing partner of Brighton Grassroots and has been fighting this project for years.

He said this ruling is a chance for them to make their case and did acknowledge the judge denied about five of their claims.

“It’s small and those issues we can go back and appeal, but those are small technical issues. We won the meat of the issue and we have a strong compelling case. It’s not my word it’s the judge,” Jacobson said.

Jacobson said the groups are not against whole foods but have major concerns about traffic congestion and the size of the plaza.

“We’re against the building that goes south of Starbucks, they shouldn’t all be there. The plaza doesn’t need to be that big,” Jacobson said.

In a statement from Daniele Family Companies, President Anthony Daniele said in part, “We are pleased that Justice Odorisi has dismissed all but one of the claims brought about simply to delay this project. We look forward to the December trial where we will present the facts for why the last claim can be dismissed.”

News10NBC tried reaching out to the Daniele’s for an on-camera comment and have not heard back.

The trial is expected to start on Dec. 5.