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Manlius Town Board could update R-M district zoning law

— The Manlius Town Board reentered an ongoing discussion regarding the resident multiple use (R-M) district along East Genesee Street at its meeting Aug. 24.

The Zoning Board of Appeals passed a resolution this past spring recommending that the town board amend its multiple use structure based on one property in particular, 7197 E. Genesee St., that had multiple unrelated businesses operating within.

The ZBA interpreted the local zoning law to mean one business per structure, which would make the property out of compliance. The district, which stretches from the Fayetteville Towne Center to Lyndon Corners, was created in the early 1990s with the intent to preserve the street’s residential façade while allowing limited commercial activity. The law at first allowed one business per building in the residential area, but has since been interpreted to allow more than one supporting businesses under the same roof.

David Tessier, director of planning and development, said the law has mostly worked well for the town, but agreed with the ZBA that it needs clarification.

He suggested allowing two businesses per property, and requiring at least 1,000 square feet of space per business.

He also suggested adding “insurance office” and “apartment” to the list of allowable uses, and having the law clearly state that each property owners must have an accessory use permit for each business.

Town Supervisor Ed Theobald proposed leaving out any requirement that businesses in one location be supporting or similar.

“Because that can be sort of a gray area,” he said. “Do we really need to have them be ‘similar businesses’?”

Deputy Supervisor John Loeffler agreed.

“The idea here is that we’re trying to keep a residential character but retain the value of the property,” he said.

“Whether the two businesses are connected or not connected has, I think, less impact on the other restrictions like parking and square footage.”

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