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Manlius: Developer still plans to build sub-division

Developer William Camperlino's plans for a new subdivision in Manlius were put on hold once again when Manlius village board members voted 7-0 on June 26 to designate a particularly scenic stretch of land in Manlius as a "Critical Environmental Area." An area known as Three Falls Woods, located off Route 173 in Manlius, is owned by the developer, and has been at the crux of the controversy.

The resolution came after extensive lobbying from the Manlius Greenspace Coalition, an environmental protection organization started in Manlius two years ago, that has recently been working to keep Camperlino from receiving approval for the subdivision. The group presented an informational packet to the board in which nine different environmental experts agreed that the land is not suitable for construction and development.

"We're interested in saving a very critical and fragile area," said MGC President George Ryan. "We're happy to get the designation from the village, and we'd very much like the town board to come up to speed on the issue."

Ryan said that the area was "one-of-a-kind" due to its wide variety of plant and wildlife species, and speculated that heavy construction on would probably cause the land to fracture due to the karst topography that sits below the surface.

Karst topography occurs due to the dissolution of soluble layers of bedrock (usually carbonate rock, such as limestone) and is characterized by sinkholes, underground drainages and even caves. Karst bedrock is thought to sit under much of the Onondaga escarpment corridor, a section of land that runs from the Manlius village to Clarks Reservation in Jamesville.

MGC Vice President and CEA Task Force Chair Benita Rogers said towering cliffs surround the valley of Three Falls Woods, which has inherent educational value due to the wide variety of plant and animal species.

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