There’s a storm a brewin’ at the Outer Harbor. It looks as if some lines have been drawn in the sand, and two distinct parties are emerging – one that wants to build residential, and one that doesn’t. In one camp is the ECHDC with the Perkins + Will plan. On the other side is Assemblyman Ryan, Congressman Higgins and Rivekeeper. Each camp held impromptu dueling media events this morning.
One person who attended the media events said that he felt as if a bit of the old Bass Pro brouhaha was in the air. To add to the frenzy, Riverkeeper posted the following image on its website:
And Sean Ryan produced these images to share what he was thinking:
For some background on all of this, see BRO’s post on Riverkeeper’s fight to not privatize the Outer Harbor. The following statements were released from the Riverkeeper-Higgins-Ryan camp:
“We don’t need another city at the Outer Harbor, we have a great city,” said Congressman Higgins. “The Outer Harbor stands as Buffalo’s front lawn to the Great Lakes. We can’t lose sight of what is most important at the Outer Harbor – the water. Let’s focus on making it easy for people to get to the water and enjoy the water. That type of thinking preserves the waterfront access this community has been craving for decades and encourages development to come more organically.”
Assemblyman Sean Ryan said, “When it comes to planning Buffalo’s Outer Harbor, we have to have a plan for the future that the community supports. The current plan being put forward by the ECHDC does not have broad support, and would not create the Outer Harbor that Buffalo and Western New York has been longing for. Development should be concentrated at Terminals A and B, where there is already existing infrastructure. The emphasis should be on public access and creating spaces that everyone can enjoy, and that is what the Riverkeeper plan emphasizes. We owe it to future generations to get this right. We must create an Outer Harbor that everyone can be proud of.”
“Riverkeeper’s alternative vision is built from decades of community input, incorporates the best of the Perkins + Will plan, and is based on the fact that the protection of and access to our Great Lakes public trust resources does not have to be at odds with future economic development”, said Jill Jedlicka, Executive Director of Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper. “The best outcome is one that is generated and guided by public sentiment, and the planning solutions for a sustainable future for the City of Buffalo are well within our reach. The Outer Harbor, Times Beach and Lake Erie are too vulnerable and too important for our community to not get this right. We thank the Congressman and Assemblyman for their leadership and recognition of the intangible values of our fresh water systems.”