Vote Could Help Bayfront Development Project - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather and Events

Vote Could Help Bayfront Development Project

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The Erie Planning Commission today made a decision that might help a major bayfront development project move forward. The commission voted to designate 70 acres of land north of the Erie Wastewater Treatment Plant as blighted. Planners say that will make it easier to obtain government financing and grants.

 John Elliott of the Economic Development Corporation said, "It is one of many steps but it is an important one along the way. It maintains momentum."

 Members of the commission say while the land may not looked blighted it meets the legal definition. Opponents remain unconvincted.

 Planning Commission Chairman Richard Speicher said, "For me it finally came down to, it met the requirements of I think some of the criteria that are laid out in the law."

 City Economic Development Director Brenda Sandberg said, "We believe there is a significant difference between the highest and best use and blighted. And what was permitted today does not meet the definition under the law."

 Planners hope the site can eventually be developed into expanded port facilities and attract new companies.

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