EHH Committee presents findings to Caz Village Board

The Economic Health and Heritage Study Committee presented preliminary findings at the Cazenovia Village Board meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 4, and established an open work session for Sept. 20 in the village office.

The committee was formed to assess whether the zoning restrictions provided by the Cazenovia Comprehensive Plan were optimal, specifically regarding the area across route 20 from Tops Markets called Village Edge South.

The committee found that the zoning restrictions were not optimal.

Mayor Kurt Wheeler commented that the current zoning “does not provide the best possible protection for aesthetics, viewsheds or other aspects of a pleasing gateway to our community. At the same time it dramatically limits the most creative and beneficial use of one of the most important pieces of commercial real estate in the community.”

The Comprehensive Plan was ratified by the Cazenovia Village Board in 2007. It is a statement of the general vision and goals for the community.

Among those goals is to maintain what is referred to as a “hard edge” between the village of Cazenovia and the surrounding rural areas. The plan aims to avoid commercial sprawl on the outer edges of the village.

The “hard edge” is intended to preserve the character that makes Cazenovia an attractive destination for residence and commerce. In accordance with the Comprehensive Plan, zoning laws established limits on the size of a building’s footprint in square feet. This kind of limit would prevent large retail locations from developing on Village Edge South.

Wheeler presented the findings of the committee to the board and the residents in attendance at the meeting. He explained that the committee’s priorities were maintaining the intentions of the Comprehensive Plan in terms of aesthetic while stimulating development in Village Edge South and the village in general.

The next step for the committee is to continue study and collaboration for the purpose of offering specific recommendations to the village board for an amendment to the Comprehensive Plan in order to change the zoning specifications established for Village Edge South.

The upcoming open work session will focus on forming these recommendations.

To view conceptual maps of the parcel, visit the village website at villageofcazenovia.com.

Terence Hartnett is a freelance journalist for Eagle Newspapers, and a graduate of Cazenovia High School and St. Bonaventure University. He can be reached at hartnetc@bonaventure.edu.

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