Following the third public hearing held by the Village Planning Board on Aug. 22, a resolution officially approving Cazenovia College’s request to build an artificial turf field at their Schneeweiss Athletic Complex was adopted by board members.
The college was cleared to begin construction on an improved drainage system, sub-surface, and synthetic playing field. Stadium seating, additional parking and a lighting system are not planned.
“After we went through the entire Environmental Assessment Form required by SEQR, we found that the Cazenovia College turf did not have an adverse environmental impacts in the area,” said planning board chairman William Hall. “After considering of all the public input, I think at the end of the day, we came out with a better project than perhaps we started with.”
The ruling followed a contentious month-long debate between officials at Cazenovia College and residents of Lincklaen Street and Lincklaen Terrace, whose backyards border the proposed site of the turf field. The land is in a distinguished area of the village, and property on three sides of the open field is contiguous to the Cazenovia Village Historic District, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.
As the project was determined to be a Type I action, an in-depth review of the planned measures was required. At the third and final public hearing, the planning board worked through the State Environmental Quality Review, which consisted of 20 questions pertaining to potential impacts.
Lincklaen Street resident, Carlos Gavilondo, was one of the citizens who spoke out against initial aspects of the college’s plan for construction during previous public hearings. Following approval of the enhanced plan, he was content with the board’s investigation and careful consideration of the project. “The process the planning board conducted was vitally important. It gave the community a chance to learn about the project, offer its perspectives and influence the design,” he said. “As a result, I think the project that was approved is better than what was originally proposed.”