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Things are looking up for the urban farm

No one is humming the "Green Acres" theme song just yet in the Broadway-Fillmore neighborhood, but things are looking up for a proposed urban farm.

City officials have renewed their offer to let a Fillmore Avenue couple lease two acres of land on Wilson Street for their produce farm.

At first, Mark and Janice Stevens said a lease wouldn't be feasible, given the time and money they would have to invest as they transform 27 city-owned lots into an urban oasis.

But then the city vowed to consider more favorable terms. Instead of insisting on a clause that would let Buffalo reclaim the property on 30 days' notice, planners said they might agree to an end-of-season notification.

The Stevenses said they think the outpouring of community support for their farm gives them added "security" that the city won't pull the plug on their agricultural venture.

Still, city officials insist new housing is the best use for the land in the long-term. They've not budged on this point, and they've stressed the importance of following the city's master plan.

Common Council President David A. Franczyk has played a key role in urging the parties to reach a compromise. He represents the Fillmore neighborhood and lives only a short distance from the proposed farm. He still thinks a land sale is the best option. But if a lease gets a "tiller in the ground," the lawmaker said he will support it.

What's your take on the possibility that a deal might be hatched soon?

— Brian Meyer

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