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Lawsuit targets Queen City Landing project

Critics of a plan to build a 23-story tower on Buffalo’s Outer Harbor have filed a lawsuit that aims to block construction until a full environmental study is completed.

Four local environmentalists argue that the Queen City Landing project should not have been approved by the city Planning Board or the Common Council. Attorney Arthur Giacalone told WBFO city officials ignored their own planning guidelines.

“The project that’s been approved is inconsistent with all of the planning and policies that have been adopted for the waterfront and for the Outer Harbor,” Giacalone said.

The mixed-use project is set to be built on Fuhrmann Boulevard in the heart of the Outer Harbor, a site that is near marinas, significant wildlife habitats and popular fishing spots. The 324-foot tall, 370,000-square foot project would include more than 200 apartments, a nightclub restaurant and three-story parking garage.

The lawsuit aims to force the developer, Queen City Landing LLC, to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement to consider impact on nearby wildlife habitats, migratory birds and public parks.

“If that project goes forward, a 23-story tower, without having a true environmental study done, it’s going to impact negatively for generations the Outer Harbor – both its ecology and the public’s ability to use and enjoy that area of our city,” Giacalone said.

The Article 78 proceeding focuses on a project that would be built on the former Freezer Queen site. The petitioners are Margaret Wooster, Jay Burney, Lynda Stephens and James E. Carr.

On July 6,  State Supreme Court Judge Donna Siwek is expected to consider whether a temporary restraining order should be issued that would block further development until the legal issues can be addressed.

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