Clay releases study of lands north of Route 31

The town of Clay recently completed a study to determine the best uses for land north of Route 31.

"It was an internal study we started a couple of years ago under [former Commissioner of Planning and Development] Dave Tessier," said Supervisor James Rowley. "We know the pressure for development and we wanted to try to get ahead of the curve. The study will give us a guideline as to how that development should take place."

Rowley said that 85 to 90 percent of the land studied will likely be divided into large lots 60,000 square feet or larger. The town created a new zone for this land -- R-60 -- which will replace the existing R-40 zoning for new development only. The study, indeed, pertains only to new development; existing development already zoned R-40 will not be forced to come into compliance with the new zone.

According to the study and data provided by the Syracuse Metropolitan Transportation Council (SMTC), while the total number of households in the town will increase by 15 percent by 2025, the total number of households in this area will increase by 30 percent.

The study also called for the implementation of a River Overlay District zone in the town code. That zoning would apply to areas along Clay's waterfront.

"We're in the process now of putting together what that means," Rowley said. "We're using a grant to conduct a waterfront revitalization study with Plumley Engineering."

The study

The area examined by the Town of Clay Northern Land Use Study is primarily vacant agricultural land at this time. The study area is divided into nine areas (see map):

- Horseshoe Island, bounded by the Oneida River and the Erie Canal;

- Bonstead, bounded by the Erie Canal, Oneida River, Morgan Road, Route 31 and Route 481;

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