Local groups, residents concerned over “Green Code”

(Elmwood Village)

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)- Buffalo’s Green Code is essentially a blueprint for the future Queen City.

The document is several hundred pages and details new plans to improve the waterfront, boost sustainability, and help grow Buffalo.

However, some community groups and local residents are concerned this overhaul of the city’s zoning codes could take away from the look and feel of historic neighborhoods.

“The way it’s drafted now, it’s going to incentivize tear-downs, demolitions, and some new development that would really be out of character for what’s there now,” said Sam Magavern, Co-Director of the Partnership for the Public Good.

Taller and wider buildings is another concern of Magavern; the current draft would allow for five-story buildings to go up on the city’s west side, including in Elmwood Village.

“Five stories seems a bit too much for the neighborhood. Every house around here is two, three stories max so pushing it to five it’s definitely going to stick out,” said Elmwood Village resident Matt Jagodzinksi.

“It would take away from kind of the home-towniness of Elmwood,” said another resident, Victoria New.

A goal of the code is to boost density in Buffalo’s neighborhoods.

Residents told News 4 the latest addition to the Village, an apartment and commercial building across from Spot Coffee, has meshed fairly well, but they are concerned about setting limits.

Executive Director of Preservation Buffalo Niagara, Jessie Fisher, said the Green Code draft should be more specific about how it plans to meet those density goals.

“It just says these building types can be built anywhere, with very little input on the part of neighbors. So we want to make sure that while we increase density, we look at the actual historic forms and fabrics of these communities,” she told News 4.

There was a public hearing inside the Buffalo Common Council Chambers March 15 at 5:30, the next one will be April 2.

Common Council President Darius Pridgen said some changes will need to be made before the Green Code gets the green light.

A final decision is expected sometime this summer.

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