Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: Master plan to be unveiled

  1. #1
    Tony Fracasso - Admin
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Buffalo, New York, United States
    Posts
    65,020

    Master plan to be unveiled

    Buffalo's first master plan in more than 25 years calls for investing $3.1 billion in public and private funds over the next decade to build new housing, spur economic development, modernize schools and enhance "quality of life" in neighborhoods.
    Mayor Anthony M. Masiello is scheduled to release a draft of the city's long-awaited comprehensive plan today, a development road map that is called "Queen City in the 21st Century."

    Its goal is to reverse the city's population decline by "fixing the basics," building 500 new residential units a year and rehabilitating another 500 units. About 1,000 decaying properties would be torn down each year, although the plan also puts an emphasis on preserving landmark structures.

    New "key investment corridors" would be identified to spur development along the waterfront, in the downtown core, South Buffalo and the East Side. Planners have red-flagged these areas as having the land, transportation and other amenities to support continued development in manufacturing, trade and other sectors.

    But plan architects admit that implementing what some are dubbing Buffalo's "turnaround blueprint" faces formidable challenges, including lining up public and private financing to the tune of $314 million a year.

    About $35 million of that would represent new capital investment from the public sector. The plan also faces scrutiny from a state control board that will be appointed soon to oversee Buffalo's shaky finances.

    And even the most upbeat urban planning experts are warning that no one should expect dramatic progress in the next two or three years.

    "You're not going to turn this ocean liner around that fast," said Robert G. Shibley, who heads the University at Buffalo urban design department and has worked closely with city officials on downtown planning initiatives.

    Masiello was scheduled to meet this morning with the Common Council to review the 115-page document, then release details at a noon news conference. Masiello stressed that the plan remains in the draft stage and will be discussed at four upcoming public hearings. The Council, Planning Board and state control board must all approve the plan before it takes effect. Masiello said he thinks the document will provide a framework for developing a four-year financial plan that must be submitted to the control board in September.

    The city's last master plan was drafted in the late 1970s, but officials said the document was never implemented and basically "sat on a shelf." Masiello, who has been in office since 1994, thinks the absence of a coordinated development strategy that prioritizes projects and sets clear objectives has impeded growth.

    "I'm the leader of the city, and the buck stops with me. We haven't had a plan for a while, and we haven't had one for a whole lot of reasons," Masiello said Wednesday.

    The plan projects that without "aggressive" efforts, Buffalo's population could drop to 250,000 or even lower by the year 2025. According to the 2000 census, Buffalo had 292,648 residents, a 37 percent decline since 1970.

    The goal of the new development road map is to halt the population drain by 2010, and rebuild the city's population to 300,000 by 2025.

    Administration officials have been working on the model for about 18 months, though some components have been in the planning stage since the late 1990s. Throughout most of last year, about 200 citizens clustered in numerous neighborhood-based "planning communities" helped to shape the long-term blueprint.

    Many components of the plan have been foreshadowed by Masiello administration officials for months. In his annual State of the City speech in January, the mayor said the plan will embrace two broad goals. The first involves what Masiello described as "fixing the basics" - improving roads, maintaining parks, and concentrating on improved delivery of essential services.

    The other objective aims to build on the city's existing assets, including ongoing waterfront development efforts, a citywide school modernization program and neighborhood revitalization efforts.

    Some of the initiatives, including the $950 million schools upgrade, have already been budgeted and are included in the plan's $3.1 billion 10-year budget estimate.

    Federal block grant funding and other outside revenues that the city typically receives each year have also been included. But Chuck Thomas, the city's deputy director of planning, said the plan also relies on $35 million in new capital investment from government entities - or $350 million over 10 years.

    "It's ambitious, no doubt," said Thomas. "It's a big number. But it's not an undoable number."

    Timothy E. Wanamaker, who became Buffalo's new strategic planning chief Monday, said he believes the comprehensive plan will help retain residents and businesses. But the former Prince George's County, Md., economic development specialist underscored the importance of forging partnerships among the city, other government entities and private companies.

    Wanamaker and other officials say the "payback" for public investments will come in the form of private-sector investments that will create jobs and wealth. The plan projects more than $60 million in private investment annually.

    Wanamaker described the development blueprint as a "strong plan" that focuses on enhancing quality of life and delivering key services.

    "We really need to try to understand what people want, whether they be residents or business people, then fill those needs," he said.

    Thomas stressed that the 10-year target is not set in stone.

    "If takes 10 years, that's great. If it takes longer than that - say 15 years - then we'll just have to push forward our trends further," he said.

    Other components of the plan:

    Identifying five strategic development clusters downtown that offer the best potential for job growth. They are: the Erie Canal Harbor/Waterfront District, Government Center/Business District, Theater District, Education/Public Safety Campus and Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

    An effort to concentrate rebuilding initiatives around public schools in neighborhoods, then designating some schools as "multiuse centers" with extended hours and flexible facilities.

    Restoring the city's radial street pattern, which was developed in the early 1800s by Joseph Ellicott.

    Enhanced maintenance and improvements of the city's famed Olmsted parks system, including parkways that snake through many neighborhoods.

    Finding new uses for vacant lots and other open spaces.

    Creating new "gateways" to mark the entrances to the city and downtown, including high-traffic corridors such as the Kensington Expressway and the Elm-Oak Arterial.

    Evaluating the city's inventory of more than 400 buildings, with the goal of disposing of structures that are not needed.

    The Good Neighbors Planning Alliance, a community-based planning initiative that has been helping city officials identify priorities, will hold four hearings in July to solicit public input on the plan.

    The first will be held at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in the North Buffalo Community Center, 203 Sanders Road. The other meetings will be held at 6:30 p.m. on the following days:

    July 8, Museum of Science, 1020 Humboldt Parkway.

    July 9, Mount Mercy Academy, 88 Red Jacket Parkway.

    July 16, Waterfront Elementary School, 95 Fourth St.

    The Masiello administration hopes to have the comprehensive plan approved by all authorizing bodies by the end of the year.


    e-mail: bmeyer@buffnews.com

    this was pulled from www.buffnews.com

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    South Buffalo
    Posts
    963
    We attended one of the presentations. It's a very ambitious and exciting plan. If politics as usual gets in the way, we might as well just forget about it. My suggestion is that it be driven by the citizens, and not top down as demonstrated by the "library mistake". All involved agreed that livable and walkable neighborhoods are the key. It's important that fix what we have now and build on it. We have many beautiful assets that major cities of today do not have.

    Neighborhood schools, libraries, shopping and services are the way to get folks back to Buffalo.

    I think 2025 is ambitious for a finish to this, but we need to act now! Let's get things going already!

    Buffalo family

  3. #3
    Tony Fracasso - Admin
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Buffalo, New York, United States
    Posts
    65,020
    2025? That way too long... We gotta plan to see results of some form by 2009, We prepare a business plan and goal sheet for the next 4 months, have a goal start date of Jan 1 2004, and make sure we hit the goals.

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    South Buffalo
    Posts
    963
    Yes, sooner the better. I'll be 65 in 2025 and our kids will be in their 30's. If we don't get the ball rolling, these kids might not stick around when they finish school. We all know how that's been the case the last 25+years.

    Buffalo family--hangin' in

  5. #5
    Member Curmudgeon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    2,576
    I've got a better master plan to stop population loss and solve all the problems. reform the bloated civil service beauracry and social services money pit and reduce the obscene tax burden that drives away business and people. Make buffalo a competitive place to live and the people will come and build stuff on their own.
    "Master Plan"... sounds like the "5 year plans" of the old soviet regiem. Leave the development to private enterprise.

    Those guys in city hall are like Hitler in the final days of WWII. Moving around imaginary armies that don't exist trying to win a battle that has been already lost. Intead of armies, it's imaginary money. The control board will be settling in very soon and this master plan will be put on the shelf as evidence of the last spastic attempt of self-governance by a city that proved time and time again they were incapable of governing themselves. What a complete waste of time and taxpayer money.

  6. #6
    Tony Fracasso - Admin
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Buffalo, New York, United States
    Posts
    65,020
    Yes, why do goverment officials think they know how to develope an area when most don't have any practical experience?

    The goverment should only do what the community can't do. That leaves very little for them to really do.

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    South Buffalo
    Posts
    963
    WNY resident,

    Very true! Why have they not been planning and implimenting so heavily in the past.

    Too many Studies and not enough action.

    BF

  8. #8
    Tony Fracasso - Admin
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Buffalo, New York, United States
    Posts
    65,020
    We allowed them to. I was so busy trying to survive in the enviroment they created, I never realized how out of hand they have gotten.

    I mean look at buffalo from wrong planning. Right down the crapper and it will happen to each burb in line seeing we have the same people generally in power in WNY/NYS. If all these peolpe that are elected are so GOOOD at what they are doing, why are the cost skyrocketing, businesses leaving, and survival of businesses in NY is tough.

    I mean just think, we are what? 60 minutes from the cheapest source of electric and we pay the highest rates. We should all say screw it and build a new bridge/dam and keep the electric to ourselves. Leave the politicians out of it. With no doubt the people in power boned us with whatever cost structure they came up with the dam here. THe electric cost should be the cheapest here near hte dam and slowly go up the farther you go away. You do things to concentrate people into areas, NOT sprawl them out.

    We should be paying lower prices here for our electric seeing we are very close. It's almost like we are subsidizing thier growth to other parts of the states. Screw that, worry about ourselves first. I thought they broke up monoplies seeing they don't want people getting screwed. What is the gas company and electric company?

    Also, The instant they politicians talk to other politicians from other states to sell our fresh water from the lakes away we have to stop them. They did that with the electric so you know water prices in general would go up. Make the people that need the water move here.

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Buffalo, NY
    Posts
    84
    Originally posted by Curmudgeon
    I've got a better master plan to stop population loss and solve all the problems. reform the bloated civil service beauracry and social services money pit and reduce the obscene tax burden that drives away business and people. Make buffalo a competitive place to live and the people will come and build stuff on their own.
    "Master Plan"... sounds like the "5 year plans" of the old soviet regiem. Leave the development to private enterprise.

    Those guys in city hall are like Hitler in the final days of WWII. Moving around imaginary armies that don't exist trying to win a battle that has been already lost. Intead of armies, it's imaginary money. The control board will be settling in very soon and this master plan will be put on the shelf as evidence of the last spastic attempt of self-governance by a city that proved time and time again they were incapable of governing themselves. What a complete waste of time and taxpayer money.
    First of all, the Hitler analogy is overkill.

    Second, the only way the economies will grow here would be if first, all unions were abolished, all minimum wage laws were abolished, any and all public service abolished (because it costs lots of money) and all the Superfund land cleaned up. (Which cannot happen because someone has to buy it, and private enterprise won't do it, so it'd fall on the government, which shouldn't do it for lack of taxes.)

    At least with the above, the patronage can go, but that's pretty much it. But basically the days of positive job growth are over, now that we can send even white-collar jobs overseas!

    -Seth

  10. #10
    sbGUY27
    Guest
    Niagara's electric goes to NYC. We get our energy from Syracuse.
    That way the state can tax more and the electric company can charge more for line use, maint, etc.

  11. #11
    Member Curmudgeon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    2,576
    <>

    Hmmm, go to atlanta or phoenix or a lot of other cities. see those tall skinny things? They're called "tower cranes" and they are used to build big buildings. They have to build those buildings to house all the new workers. They have positive job growth. why can't we? How about we send some people to phoenix and COPY exactly how they run local government and employees and do the same thing here...
    I do like the "we have to change everything or nothing at all" gambit, though. nice touch. Seth, a tip of the hat to you, sir. You are quite a crafty liberal at times. And an academic, if my memory serves me correctly.

    The Wall Street Journal has an EXCELLENT article on the labor movments infiltration of college campuses and how taxpayer supported political indoctrination programs have been set up nationwide. Have you seen anything like that in your scholarly pursuits, and if so, would you tell us about it?
    Data is not the plural of Anecdote.

  12. #12
    sbGUY27
    Guest
    Well so much for NFTA saving production jobs. How do you put an agreement on e-commerce ? If some guy in russia or some other country is willing and hooked up to a DSL( or phone line for that matter) the equivlent of 10 US dollars a week to do your web site then you will. These are things that are produced any where and available to all to use or see. You don't even have to leave you house. Another reason why jobs are going out the door. People aren't going to the store to see the made in china tag before they buy.

  13. #13
    Member Curmudgeon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    2,576
    well then, lets create a "commerce firewall" and police the entire internet so that Yuri, Akbar, or Soo Lee can't steal "our" jobs.... I've got a better idea, do a better job than them so that someone will hire you instead. It's called "competition"...
    Data is not the plural of Anecdote.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •