Published on February 4th, 2011 | by growwny0
Green Code: February-March Community Workshops
BY CITY OF BUFFALO
Reprinted with permission from Buffalo Green Code: An ambitious two-year effort to create a new land use plan and zoning code for the City of Buffalo.
A GREEN CODE FOR 21ST CENTURY BUFFALO
We need your help. Make your voice heard.
The City of Buffalo is creating a “Green Code” to guide the rebuilding of our city for the next twenty years and beyond. We need citizens to be a part of the process. Plan to attend the upcoming workshop in your neighborhood. Our future depends on it.
It starts with a land use plan. That’s what the experts call it. Think of it as a development plan for rebuilding our city. It will guide public and private investment in our neighborhoods, local business districts, and larger employment centers.
The plan makes our vision a reality. Citizens have already shared their vision for Buffalo in The Queen City in the 21st Century: Buffalo’s Comprehensive Plan. It describes the strategy for rebuilding Buffalo. Land use plans will fill in the details of how to make the vision a reality in every part of the city.
The plan becomes The Buffalo Green Code. The land use plan will be the basis for the creation of a new zoning ordinance known as The Buffalo Green Code. It will give the comprehensive plan the force of law by governing what property owners can build on their land. It will give the plan some “teeth.” The Buffalo Green Code will say whether you can build a house, a Tim Horton’s donut shop, or a steel plant on your property.
The Green Code protects your community. You care about your property, how it looks and fits in with your neighborhood. You want your neighbors to do the same. The Buffalo Green Code will put in place rules that will bring added harmony to how our neighborhoods look and feel. That makes everyone’s property worth more.
It’s all about what “fits.” Everyone reaps rewards when buildings and their uses fit the character of a neighborhood. Storefront retail and residential streets can go together. Apartment buildings and offices can go together. But uses that generate traffic, noise, or pollution can diminish the value of neighboring properties. The Buffalo Green Code will protect us from that.
Strong neighborhoods are beautiful neighborhoods. A building design that doesn’t fit can damage property values as much as a land use that doesn’t fit. The Buffalo Green Code will also control what buildings look like and how they relate to the street and their neighbors.
A land use plan guides government, too. When any level of government invests money in roads, highways, transit, bridges, water and sewer systems, parks and community centers, they look to land use plans for guidance. Buffalo’s land use plan will guide investment in infrastructure to make the city more efficient and to make room to create jobs.
Predictability gives everyone confidence. Home owners will be more likely to invest in their property and businesses will be more likely to invest in jobs when they know for sure what the land use plan intends for their neighborhood. Because the Buffalo Green Code will make development more predictable it will make it more likely.
It’s a “green” century. New rules for building our city need to make room for the jobs of the future. But they also need to help us use less energy, do less driving, protect the quality of air, water and soil, and improve the quality of life in our neighborhoods.
Make your voice heard. The best plan for Buffalo will be the one that brings the greatest rewards to the community. That can only happen if the community makes their values, priorities, and concerns heard in the planning process. Don’t wait until the plan and zoning ordinance have already become law. Let us know now. Participate in the community workshop in your neighborhood.
If you can’t attend one of the workshops, call 311 with your comments or add them to the Community Remarks map.