Hamburg plans to make gateways to villages and towns ‘more attractive’ | Local News

City and village officials in Hamburg must have worked together to plan a Walgreens store 12 years ago because it was on the edge of the village and city and each had different zoning requirements.

It’s the same kind of cooperation officials seek today as they try to improve sections of South Park Avenue and Camp Road bordering the two municipalities. A consultant is to complete a planning study by September 1 that will cover both areas.

“How can we address these transition zones so that we can foster revitalization?” said Hamburg City Councilor Beth Farrell, a member of the Hamburg Gateway Revitalization Committee.

The South Park shopping district includes the area from the village boundary to Town Hall Plaza and north to the Erie County Fairgrounds. Once one of the main centers of the city, the district has lost tenants, activity and dynamism.

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The Lake Street/Camp Road corridor includes vacant retail space, underutilized sites and abandoned commercial structures along Lake Street and Camp Road (Route 75), from the village boundary to Scranton Road. A third study section runs from Scranton Road north to Exit 57 of the Thruway.

Farrell said the study will focus on what can be done to improve safety, connectivity and accessibility in the two areas.

“We’re trying to focus on this area to make it more attractive, creating more business and access, and making it easier for business owners,” Farrell said.

Gateway areas have been on the radar of village officials, especially along Camp Road and Lake Street, said village trustee Laura Hackathorn.

This is because the boundaries vary, with the area around the Hampton Inn in the village, while AutoZone on the road is in the city. And each municipality has different building codes, requirements and design guidelines.

“We are aware that anywhere on Camp Road, property by property, the zoning rules would change,” said Hackathorn, also a member of the Hamburg Gateway Revitalization Committee.

It’s a similar case on South Park near the village, with Tops Market in the village and shops across from it in the town.

The city hopes that the successful redevelopment of the village can boost access areas.

“Step by step we are trying to expand from the village,” Farrell said. “We tried to look for all the opportunities.

“We haven’t always worked so closely. The result will be good,” Hackathorn said. “For me, history is cooperation.”

Ed Flynn of LaBella, the consultant responsible for the study, said the report will seek to make roads safer by narrowing them slightly to provide more opportunities for cycle lanes or sidewalks, and easier crossings at intersections. The study will also look at adding roundabouts and footpaths to neighborhoods, he said.

Hamburg City Supervisor Randy Hoak said the plan being developed will build on previous village and city plans.

“I think this is a great opportunity to increase walkability and quality of life,” Hoak said.

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