Here's the site map. The smaller images below, provided by Belmont Shelter, show the exact locations of the proposed new builds.
One of the proposed 'vinyl victorians' - NRP Group
In this new proposal, best practices are being ignored. LISC-Buffalo has called for strategic reinvestment in our City along the core - along Main Street - see Getting Smarter about Decline. In Braddock, PA - four miles from Pittsburgh - it's like Buffalo, writ small and was recently profiled in a New York Times article - Rock Bottom for Decades, Showing Signs of Life. It featured Mayor John Fetterman's take on historic neighborhoods and the economic necessity of historic structures and their renovation. Mayor Fetterman said:
If struggling communities don’t preserve their architecture, there’s no chance of any resurgence down the line.What makes Midtown unique is the architectural character and unique personality. Building suburban houses on large lots like the ones proposed not only do not help, they make the neighborhood worse by destroying the personality and character of the neighborhood which is its most compelling economic asset. It saps the potential and undermines the character of the neighborhood. Midtown: Poised for Renaissance, written by Chris Hawley (for the City of Buffalo), looks at the assets of this neighborhood and draws a set of conclusions that vastly differ from Belmont's plan. Hawley recognizes the necessity of restoring the neighborhood's historic building stock and deemphasizes the suburbanization of the neighborhood as undermining its character and economic potential. It's the City's own plan. Why isn't it being followed?
While discussing Belmont's proposal with Jeff Brennen, local green contractor, Jeff remarked, "It appears as though Belmont Shelter is strictly concerned with their mission and not the what is good for the City of Buffalo and its neighborhoods long term."
Drilling into the the individual site plans and taking a closer look, the new builds will occupy a footprint that incorporates two parcels, sometimes three. While this may seem necessary to satisfy current building code requirements, it isn't. They have a right to build on existing lots with a preexisting residential use by right - the old lots are grandfathered in. The proposed plan further reduces the possibility for density just blocks away from one of the city's most amazing assets, the subway. Residential proposals that rely on suburban style footprints endorse a car culture and reduce the possibility of achieving the sort of density that make neighborhoods thrive.
The City's Planning Board is expected to approve Belmont's proposal tomorrow morning during their bi-weekly meeting on the 9th floor of City Hall at 8am.
Belmont Shelter's phone number is 716-884-7791.
Artspace • BAVPA • Woodlawn Row Houses • fixBuffalo flickr
Creative Class • Shrinking Cities • Saturdays in the neighborhood