Assemblyman John D. Ceretto, R-I-Lewiston, and Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak, D-Cheektowaga announced Wednesday the introduction of legislation that would reverse the state's Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Law 13.07 as it pertains to Niagara Falls and Niagara Falls State Park. This measure currently gives the State Parks department the authority to restrict signs and advertising structures on an adjacent municipality within 500 feet of a state park.
Ceretto sponsored the new reform measure after conferring with Niagara Falls City Council Chairman Sam Fruscione, D-Niagara Falls, and Niagara Falls Tourism Advisory Board Chairman Jerry Genova over the refusal by Niagara Falls State Park to grant Hard Rock Café permission for its desired signage.
"For too long, Albany has determined the fate of our local communities," Ceretto said. "It is time to let the city chart its own future by advertising and promoting local area businesses and events free of outside bureaucratic control."
"As legislators, it's important to support measures to help our area businesses," Gabryszak said. "Allowing an exception for signage and advertising is a step in the right direction to help economic efforts in Niagara Falls. I will work with my colleagues in the Legislature to see it passed."
"Assemblyman Ceretto has been very helpful and most responsive in working with the city to resolve the signage situation. As I've noted previously, this isn't simply a matter of the Hard Rock Café sign, but the need to amend the state law so it works for our downtown businesses, not against them," Fruscione said.
"With our downtown returning to life and our development efforts beginning to pay dividends it's important that we make it easier, not more difficult, for businesses to do business. I want to thank John Ceretto for spearheading the solution to the problem at the state level," Genova said.
"This bill represents the type of bipartisanship needed to improve our region's business climate," Ceretto said. "I look forward to working with Assemblyman Gabryszak to pass this bill into law. The Parks Department needs to be a partner for Niagara Falls to develop economically, and this legislation would open up an opportunity for that partnership to flourish once again."