Judge's Order Halts Busti Avenue Demolitions for Now | News
BUFFALO, N.Y. - State Supreme Court Justice Joseph Glownia issued a temporary restraining order Tuesday putting the breaks on demolition of seven houses owned by the Peace Bridge Authority.
The Campaign for Greater Buffalo History, Architecture & Culture filed suit against the PBA hoping to prevent the project from moving forward.
Despite the order, the judge will allow sewer work at the site to continue as well as asbestos removal, as long as it doesn't cause irreparable damage to any of the houses.
Earlier this month, chain link fencing was erected, a backhoe was put in place and gas and sewer lines were marked off. All of this is in preparation for the demolition of a row of houses which have been at the center of the Peace Bridge debate for more than a decade.
The houses are on Busti Avenue between Rhode Island and Vermont streets, directly across from the Peace Bridge Plaza.
The Peace Bridge Authority released the following statement Tuesday afternoon in response to the order:
The Authority remains confident in our approach to removing several long vacant and dilapidated structures located on Busti Avenue, having undertaken extensive voluntary compliance procedures related to environmental review and important demolition and safety protocols.
As was determined at this morning's court proceedings, we will continue to complete necessary sewer line work and asbestos remediation within the various buildings in order to prepare them for demolition, and look forward to a positive future ruling allowing us to proceed.
There are a total of eight houses on that particular block. The PBA is in negotiations to purchase the final hold out. Opponents have taken to social media to push a "call the Mayor" campaign, hoping that Mayor Brown can step in and stop the demolition. One of the homes slated to come down is the Wilkeson House, built by one of Buffalo's founding families. It dates back to 1863 and is on the City's historic registry.
The PBA says a buffer zone including green space, landscaping and a noise-reduction wall will take their place. Opponents want to see the PBA release their plans for an increased truck parking plaza and enlarged duty free store before demolition proceeds. They also claim the authority has not obtained the proper permits to demolish the buildings as required by state law.
Both sides are due back in court July 6.