Residents packed the Cazenovia Municipal Building on Sept. 4 to attend a public hearing regarding a zone change of about 48 acres of village land for former mayor Dennis Gregg’s proposed development, “South Meadows,” on the easterly side of Number Nine Road.
During the hearing, which preceded the regular Cazenovia Village Board meeting, Gregg, of Gregg Development Corporation, discussed his reasoning for wanting to change the land from R-30 to R-6, and area neighbors offered their thoughts and desires of the future project. No actions were taken by the board, as another public hearing was scheduled for 6:50 p.m. on Oct. 1 before the next village board meeting.
“When the land was annexed in seven years ago … it then became very apparent to me as time went on, the true need in the community was for ‘right-priced’ housing,” Gregg said. “I’ve asked for R-6 zoning because it allows for 100 feet of depth, as opposed to 125 feet for R-10. This plan is no different from my initial application; it has the same open space area that will be dedicated to the village and another wooded area that will be conserved in its entirety. The intent was not to ask for R-6 so that I could all of the sudden have 250 homes here.”
The Village of Cazenovia Code orders R-30 zoned residences require a minimum lot depth be at least 200 feet.
According to Gregg’s report, homes built in South Meadows will range in price from $170,000 to $240,000, and in size from 1,900-square-feet to 2,900-square-feet. He said the project would be completed in two phases, and he would ultimately build 68 new houses.
Village Trustee Peggy Van Arnam spoke after Gregg, asking him to amend his site plans to include a road connecting Number Nine Road, which has been discussed as a possibility at past meetings. Van Arnam also commented that the “right-priced” houses may not be affordable to many of the young families who wish to move into Cazenovia.
“We need the housing … I don’t have a problem with you building; I think it’s the right idea. I just hope it can be the right stuff, and what is planned is built,” Van Arnam said. “We need people to know what they’re buying into. I don’t care how you build it, but I’d like it all planned out and approved before you build anything.”
Numerous South Village residents addressed the board, asking for the consideration of safety precautions of pedestrians and drivers. Mainly, the residents wanted to make clear they were not interested in having a street connect the two developments (although some were open to a connecting bike path or walking trail) as well as the road potentially connecting Number Nine Road to Route 20.
Fredrick Lounsbury, a resident of South Village, spoke as a representative for the group Concerned Cazenovia Residents at the meeting. He said the current plan for South Meadows labels the roadways as “minor streets,” with a 60-foot right-of-way, curves approximating 150-feet, and no sidewalks — the same as South Village.
“Please note that [we are] not opposed to the South Meadows development. We only want to make sure that it is planned correctly, so that all who purchase homes there can enjoy their new homes in safety and security, in harmony with all neighbors,” Lounsbury said. “With properly designed streets through traffic, that is sure to develop, will be carried safely from the Number Nine Road entry point to South Meadows to its eastern boundary and beyond, ultimately through the Village Edge South (Lucas property), to the Route 20 East corridor.”
As one of Gregg’s reasons for proposing development was to compensate for families with young children who couldn’t afford current housing prices in Cazenovia, both concerned residents and board members asked more consideration be given to road design. The subject will again be addressed during a public hearing, at 6:50 p.m. Oct. 1 in the Municipal Building.
In other board news:
—Kim Schug, of Cazenovia High School, was unanimously granted permission to hold a 5K race on Oct. 28, using the same route as the annual Chilly Chili Run. The footrace will act as a fundraiser for the Class of 2014.
—St. Peter’s Church was unanimously granted permission to hold the Crop Huger Walk at 1 p.m. Oct. 14, and display a sign on the Lakeland Park fence from Oct. 5 to 14.
—Gene Gissin, of the Greater Cazenovia Area Chamber of Commerce, was unanimously granted permission to display scarecrows on lampposts from Oct. 26 to Nov. 1 on Albany Street. The scarecrows will be crafted by Cazenovia Central School District students and GCACC members, and will be judged before removal on Nov. 1.
—The second-to-last payment for work being done on Carpenter’s Barn was approved. Work is expected to conclude shortly.
—Cornell Cooperative Extension was unanimously granted permission to hold “Tour De Farms,” a bike ride beginning and ending at Critz Farms, on Saturday, Sept. 22. Organizers expect about 50 participants.
—Galen Okoniewski informed trustees of an event he was organizing as part of his Rotary Youth Leadership Project. Cazenovia Community Connects “On the Court,” will have mixed teams of local leaders and youth playing basketball on the newly-resurfaced court on Sept. 30 at Rotary Park on Burton Street.
Pierce Smith is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at 434-8889 ext. 338 or firstname.lastname@example.org.