Change in the air in Caz

Change is in the air

By Willie Kiernan

Something has to change because current zoning in Cazenovia doesn't protect the character, the village edge and the aquifer.

"We're trying to find a balance between what we have and what we want," said Cazenovia Village Trustee Kurt Wheeler. "We're exploring opportunities on Route 20, but at the same time protecting downtown."

Board members from the town and village of Cazenovia presented an overview of their comprehensive plan last Thursday night at a public hearing in the high school auditorium. Audience members were urged to voice their concerns after the illuminating Power Point presentation and the crisp narration of Wheeler and Cazenovia Town Supervisor Liz Moran.

"The comprehensive plan is the big picture," Moran said. "The details are in zoning and sub-division ordinances."

Based on the hydro-geological findings of Steven Winkley, a rural water district scientist recently hired by Cazenovia, an overlay district may be created on the land above the aquifer, creating certain restrictions regarding future development.

"An aquifer is not an underground lake or river," Moran said. "It's where water is found in coarse grain sand gravel veins underground, and it doesn't recognize municipal boundaries."

According to Winkley, the aquifer resides from the hub of the village eastward along Route 20, with some of it extending north but most of it extending south toward the Stone Quarry Art Park. Accordingly, the comprehensive plan reflects that development on the north side of Route 20 will be encouraged while the south side will have stronger restrictions.

"I want to acknowledge that this is just the tip of the iceberg," Wheeler said. "The entire process has been inter-municipal and it's been a positive process even beyond the comprehensive plan."

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