Elmwood Crossing Revisions Backed by the Planning Board

Marc Romanowski - Elmwood Crossing - Rupp Pfalzgraf - People at Law

Project development attorney, Marc Romanowski spoke to The Buffalo News regarding the revisions to special zoning rules for the Elmwood Crossing redevelopment.

The developers, who are leading the conversion of the former Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo campus into a mixed-use neighborhood, originally obtained a “planned-unit designation” or PUD for the project two years ago, in an effort to simplify their $150 million project by creating a set of unified guidelines that would cover multiple properties and buildings.

That would alleviate the need to return again and again for rezoning or zoning variances, since parts of the PUD differed from what the Green Code would allow.

“As a result of the waivers, we won’t need to go back to the Common Council,” said project attorney Marc Romanowski. “That’s the point of doing this.”

The Buffalo News

The story continues by addressing the concerns of the community with the Elmwood Crossing development and then the changes to the plans made by Ellicott Development Co and Sinatra & Co. to alleviate these concerns.

“Certain aspects of the project have since changed, so the developers sought earlier this year to amend the PUD to reflect their new plans. However, some of those changes alarmed neighborhood residents, who complained that the companies were just trying to bypass public reviews, and also feared that the new guidelines were too broad and could allow far more development than they wanted.

“It was about clarity, and restricting some of waivers,” Romanowski said. “A lot of what we heard is what might happen in the future if another developer is here, or a building is knocked down.”

In response to the criticism, Ellicott and Sinatra agreed to modify their request in several ways. While an individual lot could still be built to cover 100% of the property, at least 10% of the entire site must be reserved for open or green space. Buffers around parking areas will also be maintained. And Sinatra abandoned its request for a four-story maximum height, instead staying within the Green Code’s three-story maximum.” The Buffalo News

Make sure you check out the entire article on The Buffalo News website.