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Town braces for Route 20 land rush

The Cazenovia Town Council called for an emergency meeting on Sept. 18 so that they could have a public hearing before voting on a proposed six-month moratorium on applications for and actions on site plans relating to properties with frontage on the Route 20 corridor. The hearing and vote was to be Monday Sept. 25. The timing of this moratorium is crucial.

Although one project has been in the works for over a year, two other parties have recently come forth to test the waters. One developer wants to build a Price Choppers and some other smaller shops, while another wants to put in a chain motel and a drug store or a bank.

Bob Kasarjian owns the property that used to be a motel before it was the Hi Neighbor building. He has plans for office buildings there, but first must be granted a zone change. All the property in the Route 20 corridor is presently zoned for residential/agricultural usage. With his investment of time and money, Kasarjian has the most to lose by this moratorium.

"Why is everyone coming forward in such a rush at this time?" said Carol Schoch, town board. "No one has approached the town for years about that land."

There are several answers. Recently, the Cazenovia Preservation Foundation, which bought property on Route 20 to block the passage of Wal-Mart, sold a 31-acre parcel of land to the Pioneer Realty Company of Syracuse. Pioneer had also purchased the Enders house and the Stowell property, both just east of McDonalds and the Wine and Pine. Of the 54 acres, Pioneer plans to use 15 acres for a supermarket with service, retail and professional office components. The remaining 39 acres or so would be residential.

Under CPF's agreement with Pioneer, they would still retain two-thirds of their frontage on Route 20. And all of Pioneer's plans have to pass a CPF review. Also, Pioneer has agreed to donate the Enders house to CPF to be relocated on the remaining land for future sale.

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