The Buffalo Green Code Unified Development Ordinance Becomes Effective Citywide
With the Unified Development Ordinance now effective citywide, April 3, 2017 marks the culmination of a nearly seven-year effort that involved thousands of community members in neighborhoods throughout our city. Since Mayor Byron W. Brown initially announced the Buffalo Green Code, on Earth Day of 2010, the effort has been a community-driven process aimed at ensuring the Green Code reflects the values of our residents. Thank you to all of you who have dedicated so much of your time and passion during this historic initiative!
Mayor Brown and Common Council Host Signing Ceremony of City’s New Unified Development Ordinance
After 242 public meetings, Mayor Byron W. Brown and the Buffalo Common Council hosted a special signing ceremony of the City of Buffalo’s new Unified Development Ordinance on January 3, 2017. The Green Code UDO represents the first major overhaul to City zoning laws since 1953 and will serve as the City’s blueprint for zoning and development in the 21st Century. The Common Council unanimously approved the “Green Code” on December 27.
Common Council Adopts Green Code Unified Development Ordinance
The Common Council adopted the Buffalo Green Code Unified Development Ordinance (UDO), four Brownfield Opportunity Areas, and the Land Use Plan on December 27, 2016. Since initially receiving these documents in October 2015, the Council has held dozens of meetings, involving well over 1,000 participants, and yielding hundreds of comments from citizens. This extensive public input led to dozens of revisions. With the adoption by the Common Council today, Mayor Brown will sign the UDO legislation into law on January 3, 2017.
The UDO represents the city’s first comprehensive zoning rewrite in 63 years and is designed to reinforce the City’s walkable, mixed use neighborhoods and strengthen its economic centers. Prior to today’s action by Council, the city held over 240 meetings, involving over 6,500 participants. Two Green Code documents, the Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan and the Homestead Plan, will be presented to the Council for adoption in several months once State and Federal reviews are complete.
Common Council to review latest version of the Buffalo Green Code Unified Development Ordinance before vote
The Buffalo Common Council’s Legislation Committee will review the Buffalo Green Code Unified Development Ordinance and will consider the repeal of the existing zoning ordinance and associated regulations. The Legislation Committee Meeting is scheduled for:
December 20, 2016, 2:00 PM, Common Council Chambers, 13th Floor, City Hall, 65 Niagara Square
The revised UDO is available here.
Common Council schedules public hearings for the Buffalo Green Code
The Buffalo Common Council has scheduled two public hearings for consideration of the Buffalo Green Code, including the adoption of the Unified Development Ordinance. The public hearings are scheduled, as follows:
• November 14, 2016, 6:00 PM, Common Council Chambers, 13th Floor, City Hall, 65 Niagara Square
• November 22, 2016, 2:00 PM (during Legislation Committee meeting), Common Council Chambers, 13th Floor, City Hall, 65 Niagara Square
Mayor and Common Council Release Updated Green Code
Mayor Byron W. Brown and the Common Council filed an update of the Buffalo Green Code on September 15, 2016, including the revised Unified Development Ordinance (UDO). Over the past 10 months, an extensive public review process led by the Common Council with support from the Mayor’s Office of Strategic Planning, took place to gauge public opinion and consider the Green Code’s environmental impacts. The document filed today includes more than 100 of the public’s suggestions which came out of 20 public meetings, two public hearings, and hundreds of submitted written comments.
The Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DGEIS) was accepted by Common Council on February 16, 2016.
The formal public comment period – which took place from February 22, 2016 to April 22, 2016 - is now closed.
The Buffalo Green Code has been updated
The Green Code, updated and revised to reflect citizen input, was filed with the Common Council on October 22, 2015.
The Green Code translates the Comprehensive Plan’s smart growth and sustainability principles into a Land Use Plan that will guide Buffalo’s physical development for the next twenty years or more. The Green Code is further informed by specific plans for the waterfront (LWRP) and brownfield areas (BOAs). The culmination of the Green Code is an update of the 62-year-old zoning ordinance with a new “form-based code” that will implement these plans. The Green Code also reforms the city’s outdated set of Urban Renewal Plans (URPs) by incorporating their relevant provisions into the new code and creating one citywide URP for the city’s Homestead Program.
Download the Green Code documents here:
A message from Mayor Byron W. Brown
The Green Code is a historic revision of Buffalo’s land use and zoning policies that will promote investment, facilitate job creation, and improve the environment. The work to create a healthy, sustainable, and prosperous community is already well underway, spurred by residents in neighborhoods across the city. The Green Code is designed to support and build upon these efforts.
From its origins as a frontier outpost, through the opening of the nation’s interior by the Erie Canal, through its booming growth as a commercial hub and industrial powerhouse, through the pain of deindustrialization and economic restructuring – Buffalo has often thrived, sometimes struggled, but always endured.
Today the city faces some daunting challenges – an economy in transition, a legacy of environmental damage, vacant lots and abandoned buildings. But we also benefit from great neighborhoods, parks, streets, architecture, and – as always – people. The Green Code will give us the tools to confront these challenges and continue the work of rebuilding Buffalo.
The first step in this process is a Land Use Plan that will guide the city’s development over the next 20 years. The second step is a new Unified Development Ordinance – the first in more than six decades – that will promote investment by making the development process simple, transparent, and responsive to the goals we share for our city.
Work on the Green Code has taken place through a broad-based community process involving thousands of residents, and building on two decades of citizen participation. Our goal is nothing less than the economic resurgence, community renewal, and environmental repair of Buffalo.
Let’s continue working together to make this goal a reality.
Byron W. Brown