From the village of Skaneateles Historian

Skaneateles is a beautiful historic village nestled like the base of an amphitheater at the north end of a magnificent lake. Because of the village's attractiveness, it is ripe for the national phenomenon of the changing of its neighborhoods.

The historic ambiance of the village is probably why we live here. Why we love to live here. The HLPC has a passion for the task of trying to save it.

Though our goal is to try to extend the present district -- no extension of the present district would be made into law without a survey of the properties of the considered district, a written report to the trustees, a public hearing and a decision of the elected officials; and if positive, an ordinance made.

Of course sometimes these laws are controversial to citizens who are unfamiliar with them. Misinformation or not enough information is the negative.

Here are some frequently asked questions and answers:

I thought that a man's home was his castle that no one could tell him what to do with his property?

However much we would like to think otherwise, it has never been true. It would be chaos and no one's property would be worth anything for very long. In fact, it has always been a law in New York that a person could not use his or her property in any way that interfered with a neighbor's peaceful use of the land.

If my property ended up in an historic district, are there any benefits for me?

Landmark laws give you the benefits; they prevent the hasty thoughtless demolition of or inappropriate alterations with important historical and architectural qualities.

Remember when something is gone it is gone forever.

The review process provides opportunities to ensure that the worst kind of new development is not put up where it can depreciate your property. So landmarks legislation can provide a good measure of protection to the whole community.

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