When the small businesses of Niagara Falls are paying $14.00/1,000 more in taxes than the residents, the city has an obligation to support every business district. The Robert Moses bypasses every one. It's time for our elected to stand behind their small businesses.
Perhaps a passage from the Buffalo Niagara Partnership's Blue Print Buffalo, Regional Strategies and Local Tools for Reclaiming Vacant Properties in the City and Suburbs of Buffalo will be more effective?
Doesn't Niagara Co. Legislature hold a membership in the Buffalo Niagara Partnership? Does the BNP need to "get real?"
The Buffalo Niagara Partnership quotes...the Conservation Fund and the Trust for Public Land!
"Green Infrastructure and Green Printing
According to the Conservation Fund (www.conservation.org), green infrastructure is a strategically planned and locally managed network of protected green space with multiple purposes. Green infrastructure includes a wide range of landscapes, such as natural areas (wetlands, woodlands, waterways, and wildlife habitat); public and private conservation lands (nature preserves, wildlife corridors, greenways, and parks); and public and private working lands of conservation value (forests, farms, and ranches). These landscape hubs are then linked with a network of trails and greenways.
Principles of green infrastructure also translate well for urban and suburban communities. The Trust for Public Land (www.tpl.org) employs a strategic planning process they call green printing that integrates these networks of open space, parks, and greenways into community land-use plans. They use state-of-the-art GIS models to inventory and analyze community data and then design maps that can guide the community’s vision for growth and redevelopment along with protecting recreational opportunities, sensitive natural areas, and farmland. Beyond the mapping and planning, TPL works with communities to secure resources for land acquisition, land stewardship, and program administration.
Green infrastructure could easily become the cornerstone initiative of Buffalo’s land bank. By following a community-driven green print plan, the land bank could work closely with civic leaders, residents, and property owners to identify and select neighborhoods and properties; target the tax-delinquent and seriously blighted properties; and provide incentives for voluntary acquisitions. While green infrastructure might be an interim use (20+ years) for some properties, Buffalo’s weak housing and business markets mean that many of these sites will remain dedicated parks and pathways. Green-infrastructure planning enables the city to prioritize lands it would like to see remain green in perpetuity and to restore natural features of the land (i.e., daylighting buried streams, restoration of floodplains that are currently developed, reawakening industrial waterfronts as greenways and river walks).
The “greening” process will interact and overlap with efforts..."