Critics are assailing Judge Donna Siwek's decision that apparently will allow for the construction of a 23-story apartment complex along the Outer Harbor.
Tim Tielman says the public has spent millions to clean up the waterfront, but "Now, this one person wants to exploit that public investment exclusively for people who are lucky enough to be able to afford an apartment on that site."
Developer Gerry Buchheit's Queen City Landing complex would replace the space currently occupied by the former Freezer Queen warehouse, one of the few privately-held properties along the Outer Harbor.
Tielman, executive director of the Campaign for Greater Buffalo, argues that Buchheit's project is benefiting from $100 million in infrastructure and road improvements in the Outer Harbor.
"The Lake Erie view and everything, that's a public resource," Tielman said.
"There's a reason why people were enthusiastic about this stuff (waterfront cleanup) and I don't think they envisioned: You know what, I'd like to see a bunch of very tall luxury apartments out here. I don't think anyone said that."
Tielman says there is a lesson in the way Toronto built a series of high-rises along its waterfront. Many observers want to avoid a similar fate for Buffalo's emerging waterfront.