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Letter: Brewery is the wrong use for former church building

It is hard to believe that the Hook & Ladder development company is exploring the possibility of putting a brewery in the former church building at Seneca Street and Saint Johns Parkside. After all, the company’s motto is: “We are committed to improving our community one property at a time.” A brewery is not the way to attain that worthy goal.

The Catholic Diocese has the power to bar use of the first floor of the former St. Johns the Evangelist church as a brewery. When they sell a former church building, their deed includes restrictions thatprohibit such activities.

Here’s why the diocese should douse any hopes of placing a brewery in old St. Johns: The former church has three sensitive neighbors. On one side is Grace House, which promises patients and their families “overnight stays and day respite in a secure and peaceful guest house.” To its rear is Baker Victory’s St. John’s Parkside Early Childhood Program. It offers “child care in a nurturing environment” on a “safe and accessible campus.” Steps away is the entrance to the busy and beautiful Cazenovia Park.

The former house of worship is zoned “N-3R Residential” under Buffalo’s Green Code. Neither a brewery, nor a restaurant, is permitted in a N-3R district. Hook & Ladder should take notice that the former church could be used as a bed-and-breakfast or a cultural facility if the City’s Common Council grants a special use permit.

The Seneca Street neighborhood doesn’t need another place to drink beer or other alcoholic beverages.

Arthur J. Giacalone


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