Tonawanda News — “Connectivity is the key to any real thriving city,” Andres said. “There’s a lot of hurdles, though.”
Mayor Rob Ortt was more skeptical about the prospects, stating that the city had to fight a state Department of Environmental Conservation wetland designation, which nearly nixed the entire extension, though will leave some of the forested areas in place.
“There was a significant amount (of developable land) lost due to DEC and they actually tried to stop the Meadow expansion,” Ortt said. “Whatever we have there is going to be significantly less than what should have been there or could have been there.”
Third Ward Alderman Eric Zadzilka said development ideas are “all speculation at this point,” though he noted that a change in zoning laws will allow light commercial development on about half of the roadway abutting Erie Avenue.
But at this juncture, Zadzilka said, he was more impressed with the idea of connecting the heavily trafficked Niagara Falls Boulevard to business on Payne Avenue, as well as shaving off emergency response times.
“I know of the possibilities but I don’t know how feasible they are,” he said. “I’d like to know how people in the Third Ward feel about them. But I’m excited to see things moving forward quickly, just like they planned.”
Contact reporter Michael Regan at 693-1000, ext. 4115.