BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - As plans move forward for the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, residents in the Fruit Belt neighborhood say they are being ignored.
With all the expansion, the Fruit Belt has a lot of potential to become an up and coming neighborhood. Residents living there want to make sure they aren't left out of the plans.
People in the Fruit Belt neighborhood are directly affected by expansion of Buffalo's medical corridor. And they tell their representative in the Common Council, Darius Pridgen, they just want to know the plans.
"The people who live in the Fruit Belt should have information, they should have access, and they should have their voices heard," Pridgen said.
The Common Council approved Darius Pridgen's resolution to form an advisory council.
There are still many questions as to who it will include, and exactly what it will do. Pridgen says it will be a way for residents to organize and stay informed.
"It's not an advisory council to tell other folks what to do. But it's an advisory council so we know what the neighbors and the stakeholders in that area want," Pridgen said.
One current issue embodying these concerns is the University at Buffalo's proposed development of McCarley Gardens, which is currently HUD-subsidized housing for moderate-income residents.
The people who live there say they don't know the development plans, if and when they need to move out, and where they will go. Those are issues Pridgen hopes this future advisory board will help make more transparent.
"I don't foresee this being an obstructionist advisory board. I think when neighbors get together and want their voices heard, I don't think it stops progress. I think it helps progress, because how do you build in a neighborhood unless you know what the neighbors want," Pridgen said.
There will not be any hold-ups in construction or development while this advisory council is formed. But Pridgen says he will vote no on any UB projects until they become more transparent on plans for the neighborhood.
The advisory council will begin to form during an April 22 meeting.
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