Skaneateles Setting Seitz

Public hearing held open for development of historic building on prime village corner

Failure to communicate was the biggest complaint before the Skaneateles Village Zoning Board of Appeals Tuesday Jan. 2. This public hearing concerning the J.Z.G. Group's development of the Seitz building on the corner of Genesee and Jordan Streets was part two, held over from November. Part three is set for Tuesday Jan. 23.

The issues of concern are parking with the location on an alleyway, reconfiguration of existing commercial operations in the building and the removal of sight lines for six windows in Wiles' neighboring building.

The Seitz building houses Kabuki, Morris's Grill, the Hitching Post, Infusion, Elegant Needles and a few rental apartments. The developer's plan calls for commercial spaces on the first floor, 10 luxury condominium units to be built on an expanded second and third floor and dormer. Underground parking is planned to accommodate 13 cars for the 10 condos and commercial space.

The essential complaints came from one neighbor, Peter Wiles Jr. of 13 Jordan St. and one tenant of 6 West Genesee St., Daryl "Burt" Lipe, the proprietor of Morris' Grill. Both gentlemen said they were in favor of the building being improved, but were visibly upset they were not personally consulted during this planning stage.

"If it can be worked it would be great to be part of the process -- not simply have the process done to me," Peter Wiles Jr. said.

Wiles owns Mid Lakes Navigation with his four siblings. Part of their business is housed in their Jordan Street building, at 11 Jordan Street, which borders the Seitz Building. Peter also resides in his building.

Lipe who has been operating Morris' Grill for 26 years, said his lease includes cellar space and also an office on the second floor. Parking is planned for his basement area where freezers, compressors, trash collection and other storage is now located. Lead architect Andrew Ramsgard said Lipe would be granted the same number of feet now in his lease. That it would just be in a different configuration.

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