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Controversial Elmwood project takes another step toward final approval

The Buffalo Planning Board on Monday accepted the final environmental impact statement for Chason Affinity Companies' proposed project at 1111 Elmwood Ave., pushing the controversial building one step closer to final approval.

The developer is seeking to construct a four-story mixed-use building at the corner of Elmwood and Forest avenues, with 40 one-, two- and three-bedroom condos and three retail spaces.

That's reduced from the original proposal, in response to neighborhood complaints and opposition, but it still hasn't alleviated the objections of critics that it's out of scale with the area.

More than three dozen people were on hand during the meeting in City Hall, but the public hearing had already been closed so the discussion was brief and limited to board members. White binders several inches thick sat in front of each of the board members, reflecting the degree of detail and preparation that was involved.

"It does make for complicated reading," Board Vice Chair Cynthia Schwartz said.

The project will now go before the Zoning Board of Appeals for variances on June 21, before it comes back to the Planning Board for final site plan approval.

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