Last night, we the staff at HotBuffalo.com attended the Canal Side Public Hearing. The purpose of this public forum was to gather comments to the Draft Scoping Document issued by the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation from the public.
Approximately 100 people attended the meeting and about 20 chose for there voice to be heard. I had initially thought this would be a “Q and A” forum but only comments were taken with no rebuttal from the ECHDC representatives.
Of those who chose to be heard, I would say that the majority of the comments were constructive with several people offering up modifications to that presented, although a few residents were unhappy with the “total disregard” of a past document — The Erie Canal Harbor Project Master Plan from 2004.
It appears that this document had more focused plan for the central warf area. It presented a recreation of the original street grid and buildings more typical to the era. The term “authentic” was used by a hand full of residents. Resident Sarah Reid expressed her concerns about maintaining the historical integrity of the site.
Some Notable Paraphrased Comments
“I noticed that a lot of the parts of the plan, like the cascading waterfalls and the locks, were not in this area. They (cascading waterfalls) were along the canal, but they weren’t specifically in this district, and it seems like we’re building up the land to allow these things to be there,” Reid said.
Tim Tielman stated that “The final draft was in 2005. It had building standards, it said where the roads should go and where the canal should go, and they’re ignoring all of that and it’s not necessary.” Tim also questioned where the log flum would be placed in this urban amusment park.
Written comments will be accepted until 5:00 P.M. on March 13, 2009. Comments may be
submitted to the lead agency:
Empire State Development Corporation, 95
Perry Street, Buffalo, NY 14203.
The draft scoping report for the project can be viewed at:
ESDC/ECHDC offices — 95 Perry Street, Suite 500, Buffalo, NY 14203-3030
Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society
Buffalo and Erie County Library — Downtown Branch
Online at: www.eriecanalharbor.com