Judge rules in favor of Elmwood hotel

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – A judge has ruled in favor of developers who want to build a hotel at Elmwood and Forest in the City of Buffalo’s Elmwood Village.

The developers have been buying up property where the hotel would be located, but six property owners are currently holding out to keep the envisioned hotel out of the neighborhood and also took the developers to court.

Granger Place homeowner Susan Davis said, “125 rooms, 30 condos on top, multi-level parking down below. It is way out of scale for the neighborhood. Right now, when I look out the back of my house, I see trees. I am going to see a 70-foot wall if they go through with their project.”

The court case is all about property deeds for the homes and businesses at Elmwood and Forest Avenues. They contain what are called “restrictive covenants” going back more than a century that would prevent the property from being used as a hotel or some other commercial development.

Attorney Dennis Vacco is the lawyer for Chason Affinity Companies and says the restrictive covenants were created back in 1892.

“There shall be no livery stable, beer, wine, liquor, saloon or any other business, whatsoever, on these properties,” he quoted.

State Supreme Court Justice John Mickalek found the restrictive covenants had no real use and businesses have been developed even with the restrictions.

Davis says she and the other holdout property owners plan to appeal the ruling.

If the developers prevail in court, they still have a number of issues that have to be settled by city planning officials, and the Common Council.

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