BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — State and City of Buffalo leaders announced recommendations to prevent demolitions in the city on Friday.
Officials say this is a part of an endeavor to help identify, protect, and restore Buffalo’s historic architecture.
“None of us are strangers to the historic and older buildings that help shape Buffalo; nor are we strangers to the dilapidated buildings and vacant lots that plague our city,” Councilman David Rivera said.
Leaders are making these recommendations based on a report made by a panel formed last year to outline a path toward creating a community preservation plan for the Queen City.
State Senator Sean Ryan said, “I was proud to work with Preservation Buffalo Niagara, Councilmembers Rivera and Nowakowski, and community stakeholders to put together a blueprint for the future. The document we are releasing today is a statement of values that charts out a path forward to prevent demolitions and preserve and enhance the architectural assets of the City of Buffalo.”
According to leaders, the panel’s primary recommendation is to immediately implement a city-wide moratorium on unnecessary demolitions until a formal plan is adopted.
They also say the city’s Office of Strategic Planning recommended a moratorium such as this originally as part of its most recent Comprehensive Plan in 2006.
The suggested moratorium would ensure all demolitions except those necessary for public safety are avoided while a preservation plan is created, officials tell News 4.
Recommendations also include suggestions for protecting 95% of properties in Buffalo not located within historic districts, leaders say.
“This report is the culmination of frank discussions about the state of preservation in Buffalo. As a group, we had many viewpoints, but I think it’s safe to say we all agreed that there was so much more needed to be done to preserve our existing built environment without compromising progress,” Councilman Mitch Nowakowski said. “On the Common Council, I will continue to be a strong advocate for the protection of our historic districts and buildings.”
Leaders also say the report makes recommendations that would apply to existing local landmarks and historic districts. Included is a call to update the city’s preservation ordinance in line with state guidelines and several suggestions to improve the process by which buildings are protected by it.