Apr 30, 2012 Jason Emerson Uncategorized
During the summer, the village of Skaneateles is host to numerous walking, running and bicycling races of local, regional and national fame and including anywhere from dozens to hundreds of people per race. Last year, the village board of trustees wondered when the number of events downtown was too many. This year, it seems, the board has decided to draw a line.
When the board at its April 26 meeting received requests for two more races this coming year, the trustees did not approve them. Rather, the trustees decided to impose limitations on both races in order to avoid “opening the floodgates” to an endless of number of race requests on village streets and creating a precedent where the board would have to say yes to every request.
In one request, local resident Lisa Hoover sought permission to hold a 5K walk/run to raise money for her friend, Eva Donahue, of Marietta, who must travel back and forth to New York City for medical treatments to fight cancer. Hoover had no specific running course planned out, and the village board suggested she consider holding the event in Austin Park rather than on village streets to avoid traffic issues, closing of streets and the hiring of police officers to manage race safety.
The board unanimously supported the idea for Hoover to request permission from the Skaneateles Town Board to use the park, and Trustee Sue Jones said she would call town officials to inform them of the coming request.
The second request came from the owners of Endurance Monster, the Fennell Street the sports retailer, who sought permission for a one-mile race through the village as a fundraiser for the Austin Park playground renovation project. The race would start in the evening on Friday, June 15, on Elizabeth Street and go down Griffin Street and Kelly Street and end at or near the store. Police Chief Lloyd Perkins said some of the village streets along the route would need to be closed to ensure runner safety.
Trustee Mary Sennett said she opposed the request, stating she had talked to several residents along the route and they were “lukewarm” about the idea of their streets being closed on a summer Friday night. She suggested the race be held in Austin Park instead, which would eliminate road closure necessities.
Trustee Jim Lanning said he also was concerned with starting a precedent whereby the board must approve every race requested in the village, which would constantly create traffic, safety and road closure issues. “I think we should start to steer these off the village streets,” he said. “[Austin] Park is there, let’s use it.”
Mayor Hubbard also voiced a concern about the board starting a bad precedent by approving the Endurance Monster request, as did Trustee Sue Jones. Jones said she would support one charity run per year by Endurance Monster that required closed streets, but no more, and if the store wanted also to have its Halloween “Monster Mash” run down Fennell Street in the fall, she would not support that request if she supported this one.
The trustees ultimately agreed that while they would like to support the requested Endurance Monster run – because its intent is to raise money for the local community — they were concerned about the route down village streets. No decision was made, but Trustee Marc Angelillo, who has been the contact person with Endurance Monster on this, was tasked to have further discussions with the store owners about alternate routes for the proposed run.
Also at the meeting, the board:
—Held a public hearing on the critical impact usage of Cider Mill Properties, at 9 East Genesee St. The building has been vacant for about one year, and the owner is seeking a broader critical impact approval for first floor usage in order to attract possible lessees. The village planning board previously approved five space usages on the second floor — professional, healthcare, general office, retail and personal service — and two usages for the first floor, retail and personal service. Architect Robert Eggleston said the owner would like to have health care/medical office space for the first floor as well.
The board, led by Trustee Mary Sennett, was concerned about allowing a medical office to be put in on “prime retail space” on East Genesee Street. The board ultimately voted to approve a blanket usage for the space, but medical offices would only be allowed on the back side of the building, not the Genesee Street side, which would remain limited to retail and personal service space.
—Approved a request from St. James Episcopal Church Earth Works group to hold a “Green Fair” from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on July 14 in Thayer Park.
—Denied a request to install the top coat on the road in Phase 3 of the Parkside Development because neighborhood construction is not completed.
—Approved a request from RedHouse Arts Center to present the play “Side Show” in Skaneateles June 28 through 30.
—Officially approved the Fiscal year 2013 village budget, as finalized at the previous village meeting. Lanning abstained from the vote because he was new to the board and was not part of the budget process.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Skaneateles Press. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.