A plan to build a new 17-acre residential development in the City of Tonawanda drew mixed reviews last week, as developer Natale Builders and city officials held a public information meeting about the project at Tonawanda High School.
Natale is proposing to build about 60 small- and medium-sized homes in the area near Veterans Park known as Little League Drive, each one with an estimated value of $170,000 to $300,000.
However, many of the residents who attended Wednesday's forum complained about many of the aspects of the proposal, such as the loss of green space near their homes and the small lot sizes of the new homes.
"There were a lot of different thoughts expressed," said Carleton Zeisz, president of the Tonawanda Common Council. "Two-thirds of the people there were not in favor of the project as it currently stands."
Officials have often noted the site is one of the few places the city could develop. Zeisz said they are also considering developing an area near the waterfront for condominiums and the former Spaulding Fibre site for businesses.
"We don't have a lot of opportunities for development," he said.
The proposed residential development has not been finalized. The Council still must agree to sell the land to Natale. Natale has the option to cancel the current agreement with the city if it decides it does not want to move ahead on the project.
"Most of the people who were against it seemed to think it was already done," Zeisz said. "This is still preliminary. We haven't voted to sell them the land, and they're just doing their due diligence."
Zeisz said the next step is for city officials to meet with residents again about the project, without the developers present.