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New master plan unveiled

Mike Desmond/wbfo news

There's a new master plan for Erie and Niagara Counties. "One Region Forward" looks to provide ordinary citizens the tools to balance proposals from planners and developers.

There was a large crowd on the second floor of the Central Library Thursday night to look at the work from the agencies and groups involved in the One Region effort. The visitors also learned the next step is implementing the proposal to work with all of the local governments across the two counties. Using lessons from the One Region meetings, Niagara Falls neighborhood activist Christine Sanborn says the people can fight back against plans dropped on them.
"I've planned this building and then you sit there and say...does it fit into the neighborhood? It's not what we need as citizens," Sanborn said.

"It doesn't fit into our lifestyle or our dreams or what we're currently pursuing. And, we want to be part of shaping our future and here you're coming in, here, and saying this is what we planned...without our input."

UB Architecture and Planning Dean Bob Shibley says it's been good for his students to meet neighborhood residents and learn how well they know their own communities and their histories and why they want to save their residential area.

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.