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Skaneateles: Town to make cluster decision at Oct. 1 meeting

The Skaneateles Town Board opted not to take action on proposed local law 2009-D regarding cluster development authority during its meeting Thursday Aug. 20.

The decision to not vote for or against the introductory law was made following a public hearing that only brought comments from a few community members.

Bob Eggleston, a resident and local architect, said the 1996 zoning law that was put in place is a progressive law, or one that can be amended as needed. By allowing cluster housing, it would give "a little more latitude" and "improve the zoning possibility," he said.

"It means better utilization of our land," Eggleston said.

The law would not be a way to allow more houses to be built in one area, but rather a way to allow them to be built closer together, thereby keeping more open space in the town.

Andy Ramsgard, also a local architect, is involved with the Victory Sports Medicine complex that has been in the works. The complex involves 100 acres of land that crosses three zoning districts.

According to Ramsgard, clustering would not grant builders any more rights other than to cluster the buildings in one area and allows them to preserve maximum open space.

"A cluster provision would allow us to pull the buildings way back off the road," Ramsgard said about the project. "Cluster subdivision makes the most sense."

Resident Joe Southern said the law would most immediately impact areas zoned highway/commercial and hamlet, and expressed his feelings that people will take advantage of those areas.

"The zoning map areas need to be closely looked at," he said. "Do you want heavy concentration, many people in an environmentally sensitive area?"

Supervisor Phil Tierney said instead of voting on the law following the public hearing, the board should schedule a work session with the planning board and other interested parties as part of the educational process.

Consideration of the law has been adjourned until Oct. 1 with the work session to take place sometime in the weeks prior to that date.

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