Expanding historic district upsetting Skaneateles

Attorney Harvey Simmons, resident of 38 West Lake Street, presented a petition signed by a majority of those who live on West Lake Street. Eighty-five percent of those who signed the petition signed as opposed to the proposed expansion. Simmons spoke eloquently regarding the property owner's entitlement to freedom, and his petition was entered into the notes of the meeting. Green also submitted for inclusion letters from two other residents of West Lake Street, unable to attend, but who were also opposed to the proposal.

Battle, addressed the issue of the process, stating that it had actually started in May of 2006 and that Albany via the National Trust for Historic Preservation was encouraging the proposal's move forward.

"Certainly our first consideration was not West Lake Street," Batlle said. "We considered starting with Onondaga Street (the original site of the first Skaneateles settlement), as well as extending the district on Genesee Street. West Lake Street came to the front of the discussion in regard to the number of tear down and rebuilds requests being seen from that area."

Batlle stressed that while the current district is a nationally designated historic district; the expansion of the West Lake Street would be a locally designated district.

Residents spoke up quickly as to exactly what a locally designated district is and what would it mean to homebuyers and builders searching to update structures, as well build new ones.

"I for one am very much opposed right now," Dave Dugan of 10 West Lake Street said. "At this time it seems this would add another layer to the already complicated step of renovation and rebuilding. I feel that other measures, such as a new ordinance requiring specific conditions to be met before tearing down a structure would be far more acceptable at this point."

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