Buffalo Common Council Summary: Week of March 6, 2023

Buffalo Common Council Summary: Week of March 6, 2023

Date: March 10, 2023

By Rose Thomas |

Each week, PPG summarizes important takeaways from the major Buffalo Common Council meetings. We also include information from Council meetings related to our Community Agenda items

For this summary, we will focus on two meetings. The Caucus Meeting is where members from a specific political party, in Buffalo's case, the democratic party, meet, but official voting on issues does not occur. The Regular Meeting is the Common Council's primary meeting, where they make official decisions on issues.

During the Caucus Meeting, Council Member Nowakowski revealed properties at 110 and 118 South Park Avenue lacked the proper maintenance and posed a health and safety risk to neighbors and visitors of the Cobblestone District. He also stated that it's rare for the Common Council to decide on the eminent domain but felt it necessary given the historical district and property safety. Later, Council Member Rivera spoke on how the Council allocated funds to the Buffalo Police Department ("BPD") to purchase sound meters for the department to ensure noise ordinance enforcement in neighborhoods.

During the Regular Meeting, Council Member Nowakowski brought up the Cobblestone District properties from the Caucus Meeting, alleging the owner had no intentions to preserve, maintain, or develop the homes in over 15 years. Due to this, the City of Buffalo ("the City") decided to acquire the property through eminent domain to preserve the historical aspects, enhance economic development, and promote the well-being and safety of the residents in the area. 

Council later denied the sale of 750 and 752 Broadway. Council President Pridgen stated when two lots are sold together, it's usually for a designated developer. However, the current purchaser is still determining if they will be developing the lots or if this will turn into a situation where people will continue buying property and not develop it. Therefore, the Council denied the sale.

The Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority ("BMHA") plans to replace Marine Drive Apartments with a $400 million apartment complex with mixed-use accommodations. While the redevelopment of this area is to give residents a "waterfront view," this decade-long project aims to improve the lives of current and future residents. The Council hopes this project will not contribute to displacement as the waterfront view project should be open to more than one group of people. Therefore, the Council hopes to hear from the BMHA board and how it plans to include affordable housing within this complex.

The Council moved the Food Policy Council's request for the City to invest in achieving an equitable and sustainable food system in conjunction with supporting public land for the public good to the Community Development Committee. Common Council received and filed the concerns and responses to the resolution to pause Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. Council tabled reintroducing an eviction moratorium for specific zip codes. 

Need more than just a summary? Contact us at info@ppgbuffalo.org, or find full meeting information and schedules here: http://buffalony.iqm2.com/Citizens/Default.aspx