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Manlius: Zone change approved for Sensis facility

The Manlius Town Board passed a local law for a development/office overlay zone at its Feb. 27 meeting. This new zone, which doesn't exist in Manlius unless an applicant comes to the town board and requests it, does not pertain to any specific type of projects. Rather, requests will be dealt with on a project by project basis.

An overlay zone must have a minimum of 30 contiguous acres and at least 2,000 feet of frontage. Additionally, 65 percent must remain undeveloped land (which includes wetlands).

The town has seen only one applicant so far: Sensis Corporation.

Sensis, a global provider of defense, security and air traffic systems, approached the town board in December seeking to build a 5,000 square-foot testing facility on the corner of Collamer and Schepps Corner roads. That parcel of land was zoned strictly agriculture at the time. Now it's an overlay zone. The board, minus Trustee John Loeffler, approved the zone change during the same meeting Feb. 27. Loeffler removed himself from the discussion due to conflict of interest; he is a Sensis employee.

The facility, to be built on the 82-acre parcel of land, will actually take up less than five acres on the property. It will house 16 employees during interim testing periods, and the overall project will add about 100 high paying jobs to its current location in East Syracuse, said Adam Schultz of Gilberti Law Firm, there to represent the company.

Other characteristics include an earthen berm, a radar test pad elevated by 20 feet and a 120-foot high cell tower with two small antennae. The facility will be secured with a chain link fence.

More details, including environmental aspects, will be available once the site plan process is underway. Public hearings will be scheduled as the project proceeds.

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