Published on June 22nd, 2016 | by GrowWNYAdmin0
The Official Alliance Response to the Queen City Landing Project
QUEEN CITY LANDING, LLC
COMMENTS FROM THE WESTERN NEW YORK ENVIRONMENTAL ALLIANCE
June 22, 2016
The Common Council of the City of Buffalo, in a six for, three against, vote, approved a restricted use permit for Queen City Landing’s proposed 23 story tower on the Outer Harbor. This action, in addition to the Planning Board’s ‘negative declaration’ of the project and elected officials support, sets the stage for this project to go forward.
The Western New York Environmental Alliance has worked tirelessly on the Outer Harbor issues for some years, and participated along with thousands of citizens in the successful halting of the Perkins and Will inappropriate plan. As a part of our due diligence on the Outer Harbor, members of the WNYEA have participated in the deliberations of the Queen City Landing project and have opposed it going forward on three principles: it is non-compliant with the Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan approved by Council on February 2, 2016; it does not meet our principle that states all development should meet occur within existing footprints, meet the triple bottom line (making sense economically, socially and ecologically) and not generate urban sprawl.
And three, this project has been approved without an Environmental Impact Statement, the municipal tool under SEQRA to look at the impacts of any project. The scope and radical departure from the existing landscape on the Outer Harbor should have required a ‘positive declaration’ by the Planning Board and a denial of a ‘restricted use permit’ by Common Council on any number of grounds: it is a 23 story tower (one of the tallest buildings in Buffalo), on a critical Atlantic bird flyway, on the Great Lakes – the largest body of fresh water on earth, adjacent to sturgeon habitat, on a contaminated brownfield, requires the demolition of a National Register eligible building, meets neither the existing code nor the proposed Greencode, and is located on the Outer Harbor that does not have a vetted and agreed upon plan at all.
This series of decisions sets a dangerous precedent for the future of a public and green Outer Harbor, i.e., “everybody’s waterfront” and raises serious concerns about future actions under the Greencode.