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Planning Board wants answers to multiple questions on VSM project

Hundreds attend special meeting on controversial development proposal

— Faced with mounting public – and now government – concerns over the accuracy of certain statements and numbers in the controversial Victory Sports Medicine development project plans, the Skaneateles Town Planning Board requested this week that VSM respond to nearly half a dozen questions and requests for clarification concerning the business’s proposed 99.5-acre sports campus development project.

The concerns over water usage, lighting, traffic, parking and environmental impacts – raised by village and county health officials as well as the attorney for a group of concerned local residents -- are a prelude to the board’s likely reconsideration of its previous negative declaration on environmental assessments of the development project.

“I recommend the board treat this meeting as the beginning of an information gathering process,” said Planning Board Attorney Scott Molnar during the Nov. 27 special meeting of the board. “The board can then use that information to make a determination on whether the SEQR [State Environmental Quality Review] be rescinded and the planning board define the project as adverse to the environment and a draft Environmental Impact Study be made and submitted.”

More than 200 people attended the board’s special meeting to find out the latest developments in the controversial VSM ‘Victory Campus’ project, which has been gaining public attention and opposition since October when the planning board declared the project would have no major adverse impacts on the community.

Since that time, local residents have banded together as the Citizens to Preserve the Character of Skaneateles and hired an attorney to represent them in their opposition, and officials of both the village of Skaneateles and the Onondaga County Health Department have written letters of concern to the planning board about apparent inconsistencies in the VSM project from how it was initially presented to the government agencies compared to what it is today.

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