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Proposed Cazenovia college district raises concerns

Several concerned community members crowded the village of Cazenovia municipal building May 4 to discuss their concerns and ideas for the newly proposed college district in the village's continuing zoning revision process.

"The college is an asset to the village -- a tremendous asset -- and we all want it to thrive," Lincklaen Street resident Carlos Gavilando said. "But that success of the college also needs to be balanced against the interest of the community.

Gavilando and many others stressed the need for strong guidelines in the new zoning to maintain a proper balance between the college's interests and those of the community.

"There are no specific provisions to guide the planning board or the zoning board of appeals with respect to specifics of development that might occur within the college zone," Gavilando said, noting a lack of specificity. "Regardless of how enlightened the college, the planning board, the zoning board of appeals and their current administrations might be today, we don't know what it's going to be like in the future, and there is a need for guidance to avoid uncertainty, distrust and disagreement that may occur."

John Flannery, also a Lincklaen Street resident, expressed a similar desire for balance and a desire for the college to make its needs clear in the rezoning process.

"I really actually appreciate the college as part of the community," Flannery said, and then addressed college officials directly. "I wanted to ask that you let us know what you'd like to do and share that with us we can try to make what we're doing here as beneficial as possible, so you guys are successful and we're all on the same page."

Ted Bartlett, an Emory Avenue resident since 1994, was concerned with the new zoning.

"Why all the concern about the college zone? As a neighbor, the way the draft is, it can be a bit scary," said Bartlett. "The college's track record as being a good neighbor has not always been the greatest The village, on the other hand, has not overseen the college or overseen the neighborhoods as well as it should have to watch out what happens between the two."

Bartlett said south Sullivan Street and areas that are not a part of the college's three main academic areas should not be zoned as part of the college district.

Rick Clark, a Sullivan Street resident, said the village needed to pay close attention to requirements for transition or buffer zones between college and non-college district properties.

"That's where we're going to have trouble," Clark said. "You should include issues such as screening for lights, sound and utilities."

The public hearing was continued to 6:50 p.m. June 1 before the monthly village board meeting.

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