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Elmwood Village discussed at community forum

Posted at 11:28 PM, Sep 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-15 23:28:10-04

The future of Buffalo's Elmwood Village was a hot topic during Thursday night’s community forum at the Buffalo History Museum.

Overwhelmingly, the group agreed, reusing old buildings is better than demolishing them to rebuild something new in its place.

A revised version of the city's zoning laws called the Green Code could impact future development. It's essentially the blue print for development across Buffalo. The latest draft released Thursday afternoon includes more than 100 revisions to zoning rules citywide, and Elmwood Village residents were pleased to hear one of them minimizes the height of any new developments in the Elmwood Village from five stories to three stories.

That would impact proposed development at Elmwood and Forest Avenue. Chason Affinity is planning to tear down the existing homes on the block and replace them with a five story building.

Large developments have long been a complaint among many neighbors in the area. They said it takes away from the charm and culture of the area. “Every time we tear down a 100 year old building, it chips away at Buffalo's historic integrity,” said Buffalo resident, Anthony James.

“If you remember, it was a residential neighborhood that had a trolley line at one point. With the trolley line, people started converting their homes into small stores and that's served as this walkable grid that we all like,” said Buffalo Assemblyman, Sean Ryan.

The revised version still needs final approval. Ryan is proposing a moratorium on any new development in the Elmwood Village until that happens.