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A 100-acre rubber stamp?

EDITORIAL

Last week, the town planning board conducted its state-mandated environmental assessment and review of the proposed 100-acre health, wellness and sports complex of Victory Sports Management to be located two miles east of the village.

It was a disturbing meeting.

As we reported in this week’s issue of the Skaneateles Press, as the planning board attorney went through the SEQR checklist, the planning board members answered “yes” on whether the project would: physically change the project site; effect water quality or quantity; effect aesthetic resources; impact the historical, architectural or paleontological aspects of the site; cause objectionable noise, vibrations or odors; effect existing transportation systems; and effect the character of the surrounding community.

After all of those “yes”es, the board then declared the project would have no significant adverse environmental — as well as social and economic — impacts on the area...

Maybe we are naïve, or ignorant of how environmental assessments should be accomplished, but to declare that a 100-acre sports complex with 13 athletic fields will impact every facet of social, economic and environmental life in town and then to declare that the project will have no significant adverse impact on those same items seems rather incongruous.

It is common sense to see that this complex, if built, will generate vast amounts of traffic increase and congestion, noise pollution from the games and spectators and PA systems, visual pollution from the 70-to-90-foot field lighting to be on until 11 p.m. every night and significant environmental impact — including heavy metals such as lead and zinc draining off the turf fields every time it rains. And it is not terribly far from the lake.

The complex will also, on the other hand, increase numerous aspects of healthcare in our area, generate vast amounts of local commerce, incomes and jobs, and make Skaneateles a state-of-the-art athletic destination.

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