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After twists and turns, Ascension Church conversion plan moves forward

The $7 million proposal to turn the historic Ascension Church at Linwood Avenue and North Street into affordable housing is still breathing.

After the city’s Preservation Board denied the Episcopal Diocese of Western New York’s plan to transform the vacant church into 28 apartments for people 55 and older on fixed incomes, the Common Council had directed developers to go back and work with the board on design concerns.

But the updated plan failed again recently with five board members voting for it, one short of the six required for approval, and with one member saying he may sue the city over the plan.

Council members on Tuesday unanimously reversed that denial and approved the updated plan, which still has to be approved by state and federal preservation officials.

Ascension Church plan sparks tension

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