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Letter: Elmwood Village residents aren’t being obstructionists

Elmwood Village residents aren’t being obstructionists

An April 9 Viewpoints article by Richard Paton titled, “Foes of Elmwood development are fighting change,” characterized the village movement to expect developers to comply with the new Green Code without variance as to height and length as reactionary know-nothings.

Speakers at the many public meetings on the Ciminelli development have overwhelmingly been in favor of not stopping all development but for smart development that does not plump down disproportionately large buildings into an Olmsted landscape.

Over 1,000 concerned citizens signed a petition favoring the Green Code for future development proposals in the Elmwood Village. We are not a minority using the Green Code as “cover” but in fact a majority looking after the long-term health of our neighborhood.

It is lost in the debate that developers take a risk when they purchase properties (in this case they overpaid) and then think it’s a right to develop as they wish. We are telling them their plan should not proceed as they propose – this is part of the risk they take.

Comparing us to London is quite disingenuous since London, a city of 8.6 million with vast economic resources, is in no way comparable to the situation in Buffalo. London has the private money to invest hundreds of millions on architecturally innovative structures while Buffalo developers at times force our architects to design economically, not innovatively, so that we end up with structures like the Ciminelli development that might as well be an updated Holiday Inn anywhere USA. Using the London example of building location a string of monoliths along Bidwell Parkway would be fine as long as the parkway next to them remained like the Palace at Westminster.

We don’t need additional vibrancy and density; we have that aplenty. Don’t kill the goose that lays the golden egg for immediate gain.

Jim Mendola


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