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Planning board works through busy agenda

The developers of the Elmwood Crossing renovation of the old Women and Children's Hospital and surrounding property were in front of the city Planning Board yesterday seeking permission to turn an old medical office building on Hodge into a day care center. The discussion took almost an hour before the board.

The panel also bounced Schneider Development's plan for a matching building for the old Community Music School on Elmwood. Approval was granted for the $70 million Silo City project for 158 apartments and commercial space.

It was an especially busy day for the Planning Board, though much of the discussion centered on Elmwood Crossing.

"Let's look at the whole picture, what we're taking on, what we're putting in place in the former hospital," said Tom Fox, development director for Ellicott Development, which is partnering with Sinatra & Company on the massive project.

"We don't have that project (the daycare center) without everything else that we're taking on and what we're going to do."

The board decided there were changes it wanted, from basic building design to traffic for the 125 children who would be moving in and out of the daycare center.

A neighbor, Jeremy Toth, trashed the roadway pattern.

"This has no business on Hodge, at all. That's my first point. Second point is that somebody who has been taking kids to and from daycare for 20 years, this is going to accomplish absolutely nothing for 125 parents at drop offs or pickups. It will be absolute chaos in this little stretch of a driveway."


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.