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Elmwood Village proposal draws mixed reviews

The Elmwood Village appears to be splitting over yet another proposal for a massive development at Elmwood and Forest. The Chason Affinity project would replace 12 aging structures with a five-story housing and retail complex.

A long line of people spoke at Monday's Planning Board meeting, with many in favor of the proposal while others were vehemently opposed.

"Anyone can look at that and know that it doesn't belong there. This is called Elmwood Village," said poet and long time neighborhood resident Carl Dennis.
Others like the latest proposals, saying it will be an asset in the community.

"We could not be more enthusiastic about it," said Joe Sedita, who lives down the street from the proposed development. 

"It proposes to replace a bunch of, let me call them kindly, undistinguished structures, with a really wonderful building."

Architect Steve Carmina says the developer has reacted to public comments by making major changes in the design.

Since the project is before the board on an environmental study, public comments have to be in by December 19 as that process unwinds.

The Planning Board also approved the latest version of the Green Code and sent it to the Council. This plan would bar a five-story building like that proposed by Chason Affinity.

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.