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Skaneateles: HLPC to plan info meeting

Some residents on West Lake Street in the village of Skaneateles are in favor of becoming a historic district. Others aren't in favor of it.

To clear the air and help teach everyone on the street what the designation is and all that is involved, the Historic Landmarks Preservation Committee is now planning to host an informational meeting.

The decision to hold a meeting followed a lengthy conversation at the Skaneateles Village Board of Trustees meeting on Dec. 14, which involved not only the board, but village Historian Pat Blackler, village Attorney Michael Byrne and a handful of residents.

The petition that started it all on Monday was signed by 18 property owners in favor of a historic designation.

"This letter ... has taken some time and some very deep thinking. We have elicited some concern in the past about a specific property," said resident Bill Mahood, adding that the focus is not on a specific property.

According to Mahood, West Lake Street is "a very unique street" in that it is along the waterfront and very sensitive. It is also attractive and integral to the village, he said.

"It's a part of the charm of the village," Mahood said.

Despite the nature of West Lake Street and its lake frontage drawing people with resources and their own ideas of how to remodel their properties -- mainly through the use of demolition and construction -- Mahood said it is critical to maintain the beauty and the historical nature of the village.

"It's critical we don't allow these older properties to be destroyed," he said. "It really is a beautiful street. We'd really hate to see the other shoe drop."

However, Mayor Bob Green and Byrne said a historic designation wouldn't make it impossible for someone to demo a home in the district.

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