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A tight fit: Fayetteville board approves changes to residential zoning

Fayetteville could see 24 new townhouses at the former Syracuse Plastics site. After a public hearing at its Nov. 13 meeting, the village board passed a resolution to amend project specifications to allow for zero-depth setback as proposed by Stearns and Wheeler developers.

"The townhouses will be built in an arts-and-crafts style," said Bill Petrovitch of Stearns and Wheeler.

Residents voiced their concerns during the public hearing regarding a proposed local law to allow 24 townhouses to be built right up to the property lines at the former manufacturing site within the block surrounded by Chapel Street, Clinton Street and Walnut Street. Formerly zoned industrial, the site is now zoned private residential.

The proposed law would permit modifications to various parameters of buildings in areas zoned private residential, including a zero-depth allowance for the front, side and rear yards. If the proposal passes, the townhouses would cover 100 percent of the lots on which they are built.

"The density of this project will dramatically change the nature of the neighborhood. It doesn't compliment or supplement the neighborhood," said Jim O'Shea, Fayetteville resident.

While the majority of residents at the hearing indicated a general sense of approval for the project idea, it was the finer details of the plan that they asked trustees for clarification about. The issue of liability risks for workers who may be forced to stand on town property to work on the townhouses was mentioned. In addition, emergency vehicle accessibility, lighting, traffic congestion, snow and leaf removal and the times at which these services would be performed were among the several concerns residents had. Building materials that would be consistent with the appearance of existing neighborhood structures was also addressed.

Mayor Mark Olson alleviated some of the residents' concerns by reiterating that any design specifications granted by the passing of the proposed law would have to be approved by the planning board, and, that if it was not approved, the changes could not go into effect.

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