Recently we have seen an outcropping of buildings being erected that look pretty dismal. Just yesterday we were made aware of yet another development being built at the corner of Grant and Forest – a Dollar General. The foundation is situated on Forest, and the parking lot wraps around House of China, with a curb cut on Grant Street.
Now if there was a corner that could have benefitted from having the Green Code in place, it’s this one. With a Family Dollar on one corner (set back), another box-style store on the way, and two other markets occupying the remaining corners (also set back), the intersection is about as underwhelming as it gets.
We’ve seen these same sorts of one-story, uninspiring buildings go up on Niagara Street, Delaware Avenue, Main Street, and elsewhere. They appear to be popping up faster than ever, usually leaving auto parts and dollar-type stores in their wake. There is a great example of bad building design on every commercial street in this city.
Delaware District Council Member Michael J. LoCurto and the Mayor’s Office of Strategic Planning have announced that they will be hosting a public review of Buffalo Green Code draft documents at the North Buffalo Community Center, 203 Sanders Road, on September 4, 2014 from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm. Not only will the Green Code be broken down into “bite size”, easy to digest pieces, the adoption process for the code will be outlined.
It will be interesting to see how the dollar-type projects will be handled in the future. Can Buffalo’s award-winning comprehensive plan (Queen City in the 21st Century) really combat these developments? What will these businesses look like in the future? Or will they pack up their bags and call it a day? Or did they saturate the market before the Green Code was enacted? Or will there be loopholes? Will there be the political cojones to actually enforce it and not cave to complaining developers?
The Green Code was developed in order to fix the basics; build on the city’s assets; implement smart growth; and embrace sustainability. It appears that the race is on to construct as many McMarkets as possible before any of these principles are set in stone. Will a Unified Development Ordinance (UDO), along with a Land Use Plan be able to put an end to this type of cookie cutter design? Will the Comprehensive Plan and the Buffalo Green Code turn these types of aforementioned corners into walkable, attractive neighborhoods hubs? Obviously it’s too late for this corner, but there will be other corners that will face the same sort of quandaries, issues and dilemmas.
For some of us, the phasing in of the Green Code can not happen soon enough. For those who continue to ask about the timeline, and what needs to happen to get this show on the road…
The Green Code is in its final stages before completion with its draft document currently available for public review. Citizen input is required to make sure that the Green Code meets the needs and expectations of residents and businesses. Responding to considerable input from residents and business owners, the UDO implements the community’s vision for the development of the city and achieve the walkable, transit-supportive neighborhoods they desire. It will be a more accessible document, with illustrations, tables, and plain English text, making the ordinance easier to understand and apply. – City Hall
September 4, 2014 from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm | North Buffalo Community Center, 203 Sanders Road