Town Planning Board approves permit for 100-acre athletic complex off Route 20

Public opposition grows as plan moves another step closer to fruition

A map of the proposed new VSM athletic complex

A map of the proposed new VSM athletic complex

— The town planning board last week declared the planned 99-acre sports complex to be built off Route 20 east of the village will have no significant environmental impact to the town, which cleared the way for the project to continue and a public hearing to be held next month.

More than 50 local residents attended the meeting — which was not a public hearing — and many were visibly and vocally upset by the planning board’s decisions as they went through the State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) checklist.

At the end of the meeting, one attendee asked if residents should hire their own legal counsel to appeal the board’s decisions that night. Planning board attorney Scott Molnar advised that they should.

“My feeling is they answered some of these questions wrong,” said Beth Estes, a Skaneateles resident and environmental engineer who has done numerous environmental assessments and SEQR reviews during her professional career. “They did not consider other impacts … I believe the entire town will be affected.”

The planned health, wellness and sports complex has been in the works for four years, and is intended to be an expansion of Victory Sports Medicine and Orthopedics, a local sports injury practice established by Dr. Marc P. Pietropaoli in 1999. The 99.5-acre complex located on land off East Genesee Street, past East Lake Road but before Coach Road, will contain a 171,000 square-foot building, which will house both medical offices and indoor athletic facilities, and 13 outdoor athletic fields made of either artificial turf or natural grass.

There is planned parking for 250 cars plus some busses, 90-feet-tall stadium lighting on the outdoor fields, outdoor PA systems to announce ongoing games and planned public use hiking trails in the undeveloped wetlands portion of the property.

“It's not just a sports complex,” Dr. Marc Pietropaoli, president and chief executive officer of Victory Sports Medicine & Orthopedics has said. “It’s an integrated health care, sports and wellness campus that’s going to help people live a better, healthier lifestyle, which is in the long run going to lower the cost of health care.”

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