Mar 11, 2013 Jason Emerson Uncategorized
After more than one year of work, discussions and public input, the Cazenovia Village Board last week approved a local law to allow downtown businesses to place certain items on the sidewalk in front of their shops between May 1 and Nov. 1.
The law, which amends Chapter 141 of the village code, was unanimously approved by the village board at its March 4 meeting after holding a public hearing on the issue.
The law will allow business to have items such as benches, tables and chairs outside their shops, provided they do not obstruct pedestrian flow and are “tasteful and in keeping with the streetscape of a 19th century village.” Any vendor wishing to place items on the sidewalk must file proof of liability policy of $500,000 with the village and name the village as an additional insured on the policy.
Items not allowed on village sidewalks include: sale items except during the July Sidewalk Sales; no flimsy or lightweight items which may blow away or break easily; no played or piped music; no additional lighting; no additional signage or advertising for the business; no items placed on, around or attached to village benches, lamp posts or other items; no permanent structured or items not brought in at night; and no food or beverages may be served on the sidewalk except those following sidewalk café regulations.
Any vendors wishing exemption from the restrictions may apply to the village board in writing with a complete description of their plans.
“Starting May 1 we’ll be more flexible and simultaneously more rigid on this,” said Trustee Peggy Van Arnam, who has been the board’s point person on the issue.
At the meeting, the board:
—Held a public hearing on a proposed local law authorizing the board to approve a property tax levy in excess of the state-mandated 2percent tax cap. There were no public comments at the hearing, and the board afterward unanimously approved the measure. The law does not require the village to override the tax levy cap, but allows it the option to exceed the 2 percent if necessary or desirable. The village approved the same law last year during budget time, and the move was one recommended by both Village Attorney Jim Stokes and by the New York Conference of Mayors, said Mayor Kurt Wheeler. “It’s better to pass this and not need it, than need it and not have it,” Wheeler said.
—Heard from Doug Shepard, who is currently working to purchase and develop the Trush property at the southern end of the lake on which currently stands the abandoned brown car dealership building. Shepard plans to create a West Shore Gateway Development project to “make this end of the lake a more welcoming gateway to our region,” he said.
His development plans are moving forward, but he will need to annex the land into the village for water and sewer connection, he said. There is currently an 18-acre parcel owned by the state in between the Trush property and the village boundary, and since no non-contiguous land can be annexed into the village, he is currently working with the state to request that they annex their land into the village as well. If and when annexation can be completed, then he will apply for grants to help develop the site, which will include a total cleanup of the land as it is a contaminated brownfield site, he said.
“We are very hopeful [and we] look forward to community involvement,” Shepard said.
—Discussed the ongoing plans for the property at 22 Lincklaen St., which the village will develop into a village parking lot. Wheeler said the sale closing has been slightly delayed but the board anticipates finalizing the sale later in March. The board continues to discuss what type of parking will be in place in the lot, whether it will be paid or free parking, and remains interested in receiving community feedback on the issue.
—Scheduled a public hearing for 6:55 p.m. Monday, April 1, to review the village’s tentative 2013-14 budget.
—Approved the use of Lakeland Park and village streets for the 41st annual July 4 Foot Race.
—Announced the public boat launch schedule for 2013: the launch will open Saturday, April 27, and close Monday, Oct. 14.
—Was informed by Trustee Amy Mann that Cazenovia has been re-certified for its “Tree City USA” status by the Arbor Day Foundation.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.