This disregarded?

For this?

A great local example of my last post "Smart Code- Form Based Zoning" has just popped up in Buffalo. Here is the Buffalo News article. A 4 story highway off-ramp hotel with surface lots was chosen as the preffered option by the "Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency" while a 10-story mixed-use hidden-parking competing proposal was not allowed to present based on not meeting current zoning codes for the strip of land; even though the design nicely meets the goals for the site listed in the award winning Queen City Master Plan accepted by the common council in 2006 and preffered by the nearby waterfront condo owners.

Discussions/Images/Commentary on Buffalo Rising:

Zoning Inspired

Planning Inspired

Even though there may other underlying factors here (political insider/build the easiest/quickest before next elections, etc), the vote was rested on the current zoning requirements. It reinforces how all those "pretty" visions we routinely see in plans for an area almost never come to be. The Zoning is either against, or not defined enough, to produce what we plan and envision for an area. (See Chapter 3 of the Smart Code Slide Show)

It will be interesting to see what happens when it reaches city council vote since the three dissenting votes on the board came from city council members. It appears many residents are already writing in.

As Lockport moves ahead will our city codes give us more of the types of environments that we enjoy or will we continue to get auto-centric islands? If the ice rink, Flight of Five and any other future development ever give rise to a new hotel downtown, etc will we get an island off by itself or something that becomes a dynamic part of Main St./downtown/street scene?

We don't know what the future will offer us. but for now, we can help ensure if it does offer us something, our codes will help ensure it moves torward a "whole greater than the sum of its parts"


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