Apr 08, 2013 Jason Emerson Uncategorized
Potential architectural designs and public use guidelines for the planned parking lot to be built at 22 Lincklaen St. are currently being circulated and considered by members of the village board of trustees as they continue to move forward with plans to increase public parking in the village.
Numerous design concepts for the lot layout have already been established and generally agreed to by the board, although the decision on whether or not parking will be free or on a fee basis has yet to be determined.
“This is the first really new parking change in the village in decades, and we really have a chance to do it right,” said Trustee Peggy Van Arnam during the board’s April 1 meeting.
The new lot, which will be located between the post office and the Catherine Cummings Theater, will merge into the current parking area behind the theater that is used by both the college and the Lincklaen House, and therefore there are three parties involved in the overall planning process for the new lot: the village, the Lincklaen House and Cazenovia College, said Mayor Kurt Wheeler. All three groups are in favor of the new lot and are working together to create the best possible architectural plan, he said.
The current design plan — which is only preliminary — contains 22 total spaces and numerous attributes that will almost certainly be included in the final design, such as a one-way entrance from Lincklaen Street (whether the exit will be onto Albany Street by the Pewter Spoon/Realty USA building or onto Center Street is currently undetermined); a drive-through post office box for the postal service; some kind of vegetation buffering from the sidewalk and street to create a pleasing aesthetic appearance; and the inclusion of signage in the lot to direct visitors to other available village parking as well as other village shops and amenities.
The design plans have been drawn up by Dunn and Sgromo Engineers, who are also the village engineers, at no cost to the village, Wheeler said.
As for whether the lot will be free or paid parking, that is still under discussion, with at least a few of the trustees leaning toward the pay option.
“I am unabashedly in favor of a pay lot for visitors and tourists,” Van Arnam said. She cited as “interesting” the results of a recent Cazenovia Republican poll on the parking lot and said she was swayed by the arguments that ample free parking already is available behind the library, a pay lot “would not take away one space currently available” and it would be more user-friendly for out-of-town visitors seeking parking downtown.
Wheeler also endorsed the paid parking idea, “because it gives us another [parking] option that doesn’t exist right now,” he said. Figuring and paying the cost of the pay station machine necessary for a pay lot is the “near-term challenge,” Wheeler said.
While the village’s purchase of the 22 Lincklaen St. property has not been finalized yet, the papers are currently being drawn up and the closing is expected to occur this month, Wheeler said.
Also at the meeting, the board:
—Presented at public hearing the 2013-14 preliminary village budget, which contained a total general fund appropriation of $2.4 million, an increase of about $73,000 over 2012-13. The budget includes a 3 percent property tax rate increase, which would be $6.30 per $1,000 of assessed value versus the $6.12 last year. No members of the public spoke during the hearing. “This is a very carefully put together, austere budget,” Wheeler said. Public comments on the budget will still be accepted through the board’s May 6 regular meeting, at which time the final budget approval vote is expected. The budget is available for public viewing at the village office.
—Conducted a public hearing on a proposed law to amend the village code to add to the current list of signs allowed in the village without a permit. The issue specifically concerned the addition of sponsor and booster signs to athletic fields owned by schools, post-secondary educational institutions and/or non-profit organizations, based on a request to signs to the youth baseball fences at Vets Field.
Trustees and members of the public voiced concerns about the unintended consequences of this law allowing signs to be placed on any fences around the village, and the possible visual pollution it could cause. “We need to be very careful about this,” Van Arnam said. “We could be opening a Pandora’s Box here.”
Village Attorney Jim Stokes said the intent of the law is to allow signs on athletic fields only, not just any fence in the village, and the law’s language may need to be revisited to ensure its proper function.
The board voted to hold the public hearing open until its May 6 regular meeting.
—Approved a request by the chamber of commerce to allow the Lakeland Park bandstand to be used for the Summer Concert Series on Thursday evenings from June 20 to Aug. 22, as well as to place a sign on the park’s fence to promote the weekly performances.
—Accepted two bids for the replacement of the village leaf truck and dump body for a total of $92,091.
—Approved a resolution to amend the village code to create a no parking, stopping or standing zone on the west side of Burton Street from Clark Street to the intersection as part of the recent approval for the new Cazenovia Community Preschool location on Burton Street.
—Was informed of the village Tree Commission’s planned Arbor Day event at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, April 20, in Cannon Park to plant a new sugar maple tree to help replace the two trees taken down last year.
—Rescheduled the time of its May 6 regular board meeting to 7:30 p.m. instead of the usual 7 p.m.
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.