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Town of Cicero approves Brewerton plan

The Cicero Town Board voted unanimously to approve the plans for the Brewerton Revitalization Project as presented by engineer Paul Fritz of Environmental Design Standards at the board meeting Wednesday Oct. 15.

The board also approved a SEQRA resolution for the design standards for the project, which Fritz also presented to the board on Wednesday.

The plan outlines the strategy to redesign the hamlet of Brewerton, improving its physical appearance, adding parking and pedestrian-friendly walkways and embracing its history and proximity to the waterfront. It will also "green up" Route 11, Bartel Road and the Route 81 bridge, enhance the streetscapes, encourage mixed-use (retail and residential) buildings and offer standards for development in the hamlet.

Though the plan was approved by the board, Fritz said it's hardly complete.

"This vision is just a starting point," he said. "It's a good starting point, but it will certainly be tweaked as we implement it."

Many local residents spoke in favor of the plan.

"I'm very supportive of this opportunity we have to improve the appearance of the hamlet and the quality of life for people in Brewerton," said resident Tom Beaulieu.

Roger Fortune said he purchased and is renovating a building on Route 11 in Brewerton in anticipation of the revitalization.

"I've lived in Brewerton for years, and I'm excited about the opportunities this will present," Fortune said. "I can't wait for this to become a reality."

But not everyone was so enthusiastic.

"This plan is vague, developer-friendly and some of the maps are difficult to read," said Tim Murphy, reading from a letter he presented to the board. "This whole plan is about economic development rather than the quality of life for existing residents."

Murphy asked several questions of the board, including how parking would be addressed, why business owners get tax breaks while property owners' taxes will go up and the potential for adverse affects on water quality.

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