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LETTERS: Symonds: Vehicular access is not what makes good neighbors

To the editor:

It seems that current planning theory in the village of Cazenovia reflects the suburban sprawl of the 1960s, when the car was king and communities were designed with roads that accommodated vehicular traffic — not people.

Our Village Planning Board seems to be going back to that philosophy. The buzz word now is “connectivity.”

That word was frequently used at the September planning board meeting the when the board discussed the proposed rezoning of a 48-acre parcel from Residential-30 to Residential-6 for about 60 homes. It is at the south edge of the village east of Number Nine Road. The proposal also includes opening a road between South Village, where I live, and the new South Meadows development.

Members of the board said that the Comprehensive Plan stresses “connectivity.” Therefore, cars driving through the two neighborhoods would make people more neighborly.

Cars passing one on foot do not lead to friendly contacts.

The Comprehensive Plan has a very different connotation. It calls for “Neighborhood connectivity with environmental and recreational resources.” (note no mention of roads) and “ Protection of neighborhood character through design and development standards.”

The proposal would definitely subvert the plan.

No one in South Village objects to a non-vehicular connection for bicycles, hikers, dog walkers, baby carriages etc. We have that kind of traffic now. When the Gregg Development Corp. got approval for South Village early in 2005 the approved streets were just 22 feet wide, which is less then the standard for current village streets.

There are now more than 35 houses of a proposed 50 — far more than are on Gillette and Old Farms lanes — which also lack sidewalks.

Thus, everyone must walk in the street. In fact, this is one of the neighborhoods that forms an important amenity of the village as a whole.

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