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Buffalo developing new rules for properties near city waterways

Buffalo Office of Strategic Planning

Buffalo is coming closer to completing development rules for the city's waterways.  While waterfront development often focuses on the shorelines of Lake Erie, the new rules would also take into account properties near Scajaquada Creek.

The revitalization rules for the Waterfront are a spinoff of the Green Code development rules and have been in the works for years. Developed by the city's Office of Strategic Planning, the rules were outlined Tuesday to members of the Council's Legislation Committee.

Councilmember Richard Fontana aired concerns that the rules may be overreaching.

"If I build something at Bailey and Kensington and it adds to the sewer load and that goes to the Waterfront, am I included?," Fontana wondered. 

"So, how encompassing is this? How do local business owners know if they are affected by this? Or, property project managers?"

City planner Nadine Marrero tried to provide clarification. 

"It's generally within a block from the water. So, along Niagara Street, it extends out to Niagara," Marrero said. 

"But, for the rest of the city, it's pretty closely defined within one or more, perhaps two blocks of the waterway. So, it really would be those properties that are right within view of the water."

Properties near Scajaquada Creek would fall under the regulations. The creek is often overlooked because much of it moves under the city through a tunnel before emerging in Forest Lawn Cemetery.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.