Public process is all fake; developers get inside track
It is interesting to watch the way the City of Buffalo operates its development community.
A developer will purchase a parcel of land in a well-established community. He will notify the residents about his purchase and what he proposes to do with it. He will ask for input from the neighbors about the project and they’ll tell him how they feel. He’ll pretend to listen by making minor changes to his plans. They will have a number of meetings and the outcome will be the same. The developer will still have his same plan moving forward.
What really happens is the developer will talk to the mayor, Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals before he even talks to the community. They will have everything in place before holding public hearings about the project. All will pretend to listen. If the developer asks for variances on the project, both boards will pretend to debate them, but will finally OK them.
Thus the whole project was set up to be passed with the Planning Board and Zoning Board before ever being presented to the community.
The City of Buffalo is run by developers, Planning Board, Zoning Board and the mayor. This leadership has helped Buffalo to become one of the poorest cities in the country. The residents of the City of Buffalo do not fit into the decision-making process.
A perfect example is the project slated for the corner of Elmwood and Forest avenues.