Tonawanda News

Local News

October 10, 2012

Town waterfront meeting held today

Tonawanda News — The Town of Tonawanda is holding a second public meeting on its waterfront land use plan at 7 tonight at the NOCO Pavilion. 

Town Engineer Jim Jones said the event will give residents another chance to offer up their opinions of the plans. 

“We are collecting the input from the users, stakeholders and residents and see where we want to be in 10, 20, 30 years,” he said.

The area is a 4,273 acre, six-mile stretch along River Road that contains more than 770 parcels, and the planning studies were made possible by a grant awarded in 2010 from the New York Department of State. 

After a public meeting held last September, Jones said the town worked to include residents’ desires, which include more public access to the Niagara River and cleaner, more environmentally friendly industries operating in the area. 

“At the same time, we need to consider the large industrial base down there that supports the town with taxes,” Jones said. “They provide jobs, and we need to seek a balance with sustaining those jobs and businesses.”

The project’s studies also include a look at the properties’ zoning ordinance, which, according to Jones, may or may not be up to date. 

The presentation today will review market research for the area, resident input, the zoning code review and a look at a few focus areas within the property. 

“There is Cherry Farm Park, a landfill,” Jones said. “It’s a beautiful parcel, and we are going to see if there are any opportunities there to make it available for the public.”

The town is also looking at Ashland Oil’s land, which is just north of the Grand Island Bridge, as well as ways to increase access to the riverwalk.

The town is also working to ensure that ongoing work to clean up vacant, contaminated brownfields, including the site at Polymer Applications, coincides with the future land use plan. 

“We want to make sure that our efforts that we are doing now are consistent with current planning standards and interests of residents and businesses,” Jones said. “And still environmentally sensitive.” 

After the 7 p.m. presentation at NOCO Pavilion, the public will be invited to provide their input at 7:30 p.m. 

The pavilion is located at 450 Ensminger Road. 

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