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Workshop is planned for public to give input on city's master plan

The committee developing the city's master plan is inviting residents to give input during a public workshop Tuesday in DeGraff Community Center.

Committee members as well as representatives of Bergmann Associates, the firm hired by the city in May to help with the plan, will be on hand to take public comments, Community Development Director James B. Sullivan told the Common Council on Tuesday.

Sullivan called the city's current plan "obsolete."

Attending the meeting is "important if people want a say in the future of the city and how it is developed," Council President Brett M. Sommer said.

The session will be held at 7 p.m. in the center, 139 Division St.

The workshop will include an overview of steps in the planning process taken to date, brainstorming exercises meant to help identify critical issues, a survey about preferred development, as well as a hands-on land use mapping and design session.

The 15-member Master Plan Steering Committee has met three times and has been enthusiastic in its work, Sullivan said.

Tuesday's workshop and the master plan itself are not based on any single issue, Sommer stressed, pointing to the proposed Wal-Mart Supercenter at Niagara Falls Boulevard and Erie Avenue.

There will be additional steps the city needs to take once the final plan is completed, including zoning updates, Sullivan said.

Bergmann Associates, which also was hired to do engineering work for the proposed Wal-Mart, has told the city it would step aside on the master planning when any issues involve the retail giant.

In order to allow more public participation at the workshop, the Council changed the starting time of its meeting Tuesday to 6 p.m.

For more information about the session, call the city's Community Development Department at 695-8580.

In other business Tuesday, the Council met behind closed doors to discuss a personnel issue with Building Inspector Cosimo R. Capozzi.

Council members have received complaints about Capozzi in recent weeks and had requested twice that Capozzi appear before he met with them Tuesday.


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