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Letter: Buffalo needs to keep Outer Harbor green

Buffalo needs to keep Outer Harbor green

The Outer Harbor should be left to nature and human access to the water.

First, the urge to create a new 24/7 urban environment is misplaced. It would be built from scratch. This ignores the urban fabric within a short radius of the site, places that already exist, with heritage buildings and streets that only await investment and reinvigoration.

Why should we create a Heritage Loft District, an ersatz neighborhood with no heritage, when there are already a growing neighborhood downtown, the Cobblestone District, Larkinville and millions of available square footage in existing vacant warehouses and factories? Why build new neighborhoods when there are old neighborhoods in West, East and South Buffalo begging for investments to fix up houses and streets over a hundred years old? If there is any development, there already are very large warehouses on the site. Keep the construction to that portion only.

Second, it is argued that development is needed to provide the funding to maintain the open spaces because such spaces are expensive. But houses and streets are cheap? How much will it cost to build and maintain all of this infrastructure and provide services such as plowing and policing?

A wonderful model for combining nature and human access is Presque Isle in nearby Erie, Pa. Here, one will not find housing and museums, but rather a few picnic tables, beaches, access roads and other minimal infrastructure to allow usage and access. Yet people are there in great numbers.

Keep the Outer Harbor green.

Todd Mitchell

Buffalo