Nov 22, 2006 Willie Kiernan Uncategorized
Pioneer begins long process
But is another town square what Cazenovia wants?
By Willie Kiernan
On Wednesday Nov. 15, the Cazenovia Town and Village Councils convened upstairs in the municipal building for a public hearing on the annexation of property from the town to the village. Supervisor Liz Moran was mediator and urged all speakers to direct their comments to the boards. The Cazenovia Village Board of Trustees was voted lead agency in the proceedings.
The parcel of land in question is just east of the village line on the north side of Route 20, comprised of the Stowell property, the Enders property and 38 acres to be purchased from the Cazenovia Preservation Foundation, totaling 54 acres in all. Pioneer Company of Syracuse provided initial drawings for possible usage to develop the land. Partner Dale Van Epps presented the proposal.
“It was presumed 15 years ago that this would be logical parcel for annexation,” Van Epps said.
As part of the deal, the CPF will have significant involvement with the project design. The property was purchased six years ago to block WalMart from coming in.
“As far as I’m concerned, I’m personally optimistic,” said Jim Evans, CPF President. “It’s a long process and we will have a continuing presence.”
Pioneer’s intention is to create a mixed use walkable community with an overall character that will evolve over time. There would be two entry points from Route 20 with commercial property in front and the residential community further north. There is a footprint for a Price Chopper supermarket with other retail and office buildings sharing an architectural theme along with a town square. A maximum of 65 residential lots will include green spaces and a neighborhood community park. The Enders house would be donated to CPF and relocated further east.
The supermarket, set back 140 feet, will be 37,000 square feet large, compared with P&C which currently is 21,000 square feet. The other retail space would comprise about another 37,000 square feet.
“The aquifer investigation will be a priority,” Van Epps said. “Traffic is well within the state requirements.”
Van Epps cited reports contending there would be no significant impact on water, traffic or services. They do not plan a traffic light but merely two deceleration lanes for the two curb cuts.
“We view CPF as our first watchdog before approaching the board’s scrutiny,” Van Epps said. “I don’t know any other way of doing this.”
Many of the 150 or so people attending voiced their disagreement with Pioneer’s plans and the annexation. For some, the Enders property, on the National Register, was a bone of contention. Others wanted to know why this plan is different than WalMart moving in. Some suggested the town buy the property and keep it forever green with the Enders house intact.
After two and a half hours, the public hearing was not closed but adjourned until Tuesday Nov. 21. Concerned citizens were then able to air their opinions by letter to both the town and village clerks. If annexed, Pioneer would then seek a change of zoning for at least 25 acres. Currently, the land is zoned residential only.