The Buffalo Planning Board has decided to postpone a vote on the Canterbury Woods development project intended for the old Millard Fillmore Gates Circle Hospital site.
The Board met Monday evening to get an update on project from the developers and to vote to allow the project to move forward. That's when Buffalo Common Councilman Darius Pridgen voiced concerns about the board moving forward.
Pridgen said the was unhappy about the way the developer --TM Montante Development-- handled a recent public engagement meeting. Pridgen said the meeting was held Sunday during a Bills game, and very little notice was given to stakeholders who may have been interested in coming to the event. Pridgen said that he did not even learn of the meeting until the following morning, and he is the Councilman representing the Gates Circle neighborhood.
“I’m very uncomfortable with saying there was a public engagement meeting when the councilmember was not there, and the others were not there,” Pridgen said.
Pridgen also voiced concern about the way the developers have interacted with residents of the neighborhood, citing an unpleasant interaction he had before Monday's meeting.
"If the way I was spoken to in the hallway was the way residents were spoken to, said Pridgen, "I'm a little afraid of the people doing this project.”
Residents attending the meeting echoed Pridgen's sentiments.
"This is about a process that hasn't respected a historic neighborhood or the people who live in that neighborhood, said William Altreuter, "And I think it's kind of past due that change."
The Planning Board agreed to postpone the vote so that the developer could host another public engagement meeting. They plan to revisit the issue in January.
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