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Manlius: Visions of a better community

Board members and citizens are coming together to try and make their community a better place to live. Vision Manlius is a group that focuses on bettering the village they call home. On Jan. 17, the members of Vision Manlius got together to discuss zoning.

The group that met consisted of all age groups and had four members of the board on hand: trustees Harold Hopkinson, Eric Krouse, Scott McGrew and Natalie Miner. Residents Sandra Karas, Helen Chamberlain and Aiden Dugan came to support their community.

Miner said that this is the first stage of the zoning restructure. She said that the ultimate goal of the group is to get the proposed code done in enough time to present it to the board and the public. She said the group is working off a map created by the engineering company Barton and Loguidice. Miner said that these are simply suggestions and that they are working on perfecting the new zones to make it the best it can possibly be.

Miner explained that the zoning was brought about by the new comprehensive plan the village is looking to adopt. The plan calls for a new zoning map since the current one is old and out of date. She gave the example of Mill Street. It is currently zoned as industrial.

"Do we really want an industrial area next to one of the village's best resources (Mill Run Park)?" Miner said. "Since the answer was no, we had to decide what should go there."

Members debated the idea of opening up the area to small shops and restaurants. Miner said it came from suggestions of residents how would like to be able to shop, eat and enjoy the park all in one area.

The board discussed if the area should be turned into a commercial or RM zone. The commercial zone would allow for most types of businesses, while RM would restrict it to more professional type offices. The group wanted to make the area look charming with bistros and tiny shops. Chamberlain suggested the RM zone because it would allow the board to allow small shops, but it would not allow for food prep. Most agreed that this would not work because tiny restaurants would hopefully be part of this revitalized area.

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