COUNCIL TO VOTE ON GREEN CODE
The City of Buffalo Common Council Will Vote on Overhaul to Zoning and Land Use for First Time in 40 years.
Buffalo, N.Y. - The City of Buffalo Common Council will vote to overhaul its zoning laws and land use plan which is known commonly as the “Green Code.” The Council will vote at today’s meeting at 2p.m. in Council Chambers on the 13th floor of City Hall. The vote marks the end of over six years of work to significantly improve the City’s zoning code which will guide future development. This will be the first major overhaul to zoning laws in Buffalo since 1953, when changes were made to make development more auto-friendly. Today will mark a change in development guidelines in Buffalo that will emphasize walkability and multi-modal transportation.
The Green Code has been one of the most inclusive pieces of legislation in Buffalo's history. Over the past 6 years, hundreds of meetings have been held and thousands of residents have been engaged. Discussions ranged from broad-based question like "what should our city look like in 50 years?" and "what do we value most about development?" to specific detail-oriented questions like "how tall should our buildings be?" and "how much space should be between our houses?"
Last October the Mayor filed his Green Code recommendations with the Council. Since then, the Council led the environmental review process, held public hearings, and revised the Green Code based off comments received from residents. Today's vote com-mences the Council review and celebrates the start of the next generation of development in Buffalo.
Council Member Ulysees O. Wingo of the Masten District stated “I am proud of the forward thinking by The City of Buffalo to take on such a monumental movement to enhance and strengthen our communities through this new and improved Green Code."
"Far too often the City of Buffalo looks to other areas of the country for best practices, " said President Pro Temp Christopher P. Scanlon. "The Buffalo Green Code, which will have other cities looking at Buffalo, is a transformative document which will usher in a new, form based approach to our zoning code and the manner in which we attempt to maintain the fabric of our neighborhoods. I am particularly proud of the collaboration between the Common Council, various city departments, and the public when it comes to the Outer Harbor. This partnership has resulted in a document more representative of the public's vision for our waterfront."
Fillmore District Council Member David A. Franczyk remarked-”A thorough vetting process by the Common Council, coupled with substantive input by an engaged public, has given us a Green Code which provides a strong foundation for Buffalo’s future growth and development.”
“I am very proud to be a part of the Buffalo Common Council in which a dramatic overhaul took place to revise our unified com-mercial ordinance/ Green Code. “ stated University District Council Member Rasheed N.C. Wyatt. “I am most delighted of the citi-zen participation that assisted to molding the Green Code. However, the Green Code will fall short of the historical significance if it does not incorporate inclusionary zoning, which was the expressed sentiments of many participants.”
“It’s been a long time coming” said Niagara District Council Member David A. Rivera, “but what we have is a really good product that has been touched by many hands. This is one of the most democratic pieces of legislation that this Council will ever produce and just for that reason I am proud to vote on the Green Code today.”
Following today’s vote, the Green Code will move on to the Mayor for his signature. Following the Mayor signing the Green Code into law, it will be effective 45 days afterward for neighborhood commercial corridor zones and 90 days for all other zones.