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Trial date set on lawsuits opposing Whole Foods plaza in Brighton

Whole Foods Plaza-Starbucks opens
Jacob Walsh
WXXI News/CITY Magazine
A ribbon cutting in August 2021 for the new Starbucks on Monroe Avenue in Brighton, which was the first part of the Whole Foods Plaza to open, with Town Supervisor Bill Moehle speaking and developer Anthony Daniele and Brighton Town Board member Robin Wilt also at the ceremony.

A trial date has been set for lawsuits filed against the construction of the Whole Foods Plaza in Brighton.

That’s according to Howie Jacobson, managing director for Brighton Grassroots, one of the organizations who oppose that project on Monroe Avenue. He said that this week a trial date of December 5 was scheduled in State Supreme Court.

The litigation has been going on for several years, even with construction of the plaza continuing.

Jacobson said the opponents of the projects are not opposed to Whole Foods coming into that new plaza, but they feel the size of the project, which includes several retail buildings, is too large.

“We’re happy with the Whole Foods. It’s everything else, there is no reason to have all these buildings on that property,” said Jacobson. “And we believe that we’re going to be able to show the town that the residents have the right to decide.”

Jacobson and other opponents contend that the project will cause major traffic issues, and they want a town wide referendum so that Brighton residents can weigh in on the project.

Brighton Supervisor Bill Moehle said there’s not a legal basis for holding a vote like that, and he argues there has already been a thorough review by the town and by the community.

“I anticipate that the work will continue and that there will be a final resolution of the matter,” said Moehle. “And I don’t believe there’s any merit to any of these allegations. But that’s why we have the courts to make those decisions.”

The Daniele Family Companies, who are the developers of the project, said that they look forward to seeing the project completed. Barring any legal issues, they expect the Whole Foods store to open up by the end of the year.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.