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Green Code will transform future of City of Buffalo

Buffalo Green Code probably implies a lot of things to a lot of people. We are proud to be co-chairs of the Community Advisory Committee for this critically important and historic initiative for the City of Buffalo.

First, Buffalo Green Code is not about increasing costs for business or implementing burdensome rules and regulations that prohibit economic growth and development. In fact, it is just the opposite -- it is an initiative that will be the blueprint and foundation for neighborhood revitalization and economic development for generations to come.

Buffalo Green Code ultimately will be composed of two components, including the development of a land use plan, the first such plan for the city in 30 years; and a new zoning code for the first time in 60 years. The recent National Trust for Historic Preservation Conference that was held in Buffalo brought to light the uniqueness of our great city and how we must take advantage of our assets. The Buffalo Green Code and resulting land use plan and zoning code will provide our city with the road map to do just that.

The Buffalo Green Code will play a critical role in how we take these assets and make them part of a development plan that encompasses every aspect of life in the 21st century. From urban design to walkability to environmental sustainability to economic development, the Buffalo Green Code is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the current generation to leave its imprint for future generations of Buffalonians. It's time to leave behind the laments of the past of what should have been done to save the "old" Buffalo and seize the opportunity this initiative presents to build a better and more dynamic Buffalo that improves the quality of life for residents and makes it easier to invest and do business in our city.

The work in developing a land use plan and a new zoning code can be tedious and frustrating because there are many diverse voices that need to be heard. We have witnessed first-hand the passion and determination of citizens throughout Buffalo about developing a plan that will create a vibrant, healthy and sustainable urban center that balances the character of neighborhoods with strategies to enhance economic growth and development.

Since this process began more than a year ago, dozens of meetings have taken place throughout the city and thousands of citizens from every neighborhood have actively participated and made their voices heard. The result will be the unveiling of a draft development plan by Mayor Byron Brown on Saturday at Planning Day in Buffalo, where the community will see how its input will shape how Buffalo will look and feel in the future.

We encourage as many residents as possible to attend and see their vision for the future of the City of Buffalo.

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Peg Overdorf and James Morrell are co-chairs of the Community Advisory Committee for the Buffalo Green Code initiative.

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