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Brownfield public discussions begin Tuesday evening

They are called Brownfield Opportunity Areas and the public is getting a chance this week to decide what to do with them.

In a series of public meetings, city officials are offering possible developments for each site and asking the public about each possibility. Then, they will be put together into a plan to be presented in September, with final decision toward the end of the year.

Brendan Mehaffy, is executive director of the city Office of Strategic Planning, says whether eventual development is public or private, the BOA studies give everyone data about each site, like which waterfront pieces of land have very limited access.

Mehaffy says that's part of the data to be presented in this week's public meetings.     

"One of the other elements that's examined as part of this is transportation access. As we've all heard for a very long time the Outer Harbor is a classic example of that. There are transportation access issues out there. So what different options do you have?" Mehaffy said.

"I think the work that has been done lays it out very well, the different types of transportation access issues that currently exist and what the possible solutions are for those."

The situation is fluid because a decision on the proposed harbor bridge would improve access to large areas of the Waterfront from Downtown, changing potential plans.


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.