Jun 12, 2013 Jason Emerson Uncategorized
The Cazenovia village board unanimously agreed on June 11 to change the zoning of Empire Brewing Company’s land on Route 13 from a residential to a Planned Development District, and also to amend the village code to allow the milling of flour, feed or grain in the village. Both actions allow Empire to move forward with its project to build a farmstead brewery in the village of Cazenovia.
The zone change decision, in particular, has been the subject of months of public hearings, municipal meetings, land and use studies and community input, and, if the board had rejected the request, the brewery project would have been stopped in its tracks.
With the request approved, the project now continues moving forward at the village planning board level with site plan and architectural plan reviews, both of which were already ongoing simultaneously with the zone change application.
“I’m relieved,” said Empire Brewing Company owner and Cazenovia resident David Katleski after the vote. “But we still have site plan review and the formal architectural review to go. I hope it’s a smooth process.”
The zone change process had actually been delayed a few times, most recently when the final vote was changed from June 3 to June 11 because of some process details to finish up. Even the June 11 meeting almost didn’t happen because the board was waiting to receive an advisory opinion from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, which did not arrive until that morning, said Village Attorney Jim Stokes.
The board’s June 11 meeting, which had about 15 attendees, started with one final public hearing on the zone change issue, during which only one resident spoke. Bill Brod, who is the publisher of the Syracuse New Times newspaper, said he was “confident” his 120,000 readers would “embrace the concept” of a beverage trail in Cazenovia, of which the Empire farmstead brewery would be an integral part.
“This is the single-best economic development project to come into Cazenovia in my 14 years living here,” he said.
With no further comment the board closed the public hearing, after which Stokes read aloud the 12-page draft resolution concerning the zone change on which the board ultimately voted. The resolution explained in detail all of the information the board considered for its decision as well as its reasons for approving the zone change. Those reasons included:
—The project will not have any “significant adverse environmental impacts” on the land or the community;
—The physical impacts to the land of the brewery project will be “less intensive” than would occur under the R-30 residential zoning that would allow a 31-lot subdivision of the land;
—The board believes, based on the numerous professional studies undertaken, that the water and sewer impact to the village systems will be minimal;
—The noise, odor, viewshed, traffic and archeological impacts to the site and the surrounding area will not adversely affect the community;
—The zone change is in accordance with the village’s Comprehensive Plan and will “promote the health, safety and general welfare of the village,” and will “establish an aesthetically pleasing and appropriate gateway to the principal southern entrance to the village, while also establishing an effective transition use between the predominantly residential areas of the village and the more rural areas of the town.”
The resolution also cited and agreed with multiple findings by the Madison County Planning Agency, the Cazenovia Advisory Conservation Commission and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation that the project will not create any adverse impacts to the land or the community.
The draft law itself, which approved the zone change application with conditions, was “nearly identical” to the recommendation approved by the planning board in May, Stokes said. Those conditions included strictures on what type of development was allowed on the land, development setbacks, maximum building height, lot buffers, light and sound allowances and access to nearby walking trails.
Village board members offered no comment and only language-clarifying questions about the resolution, then unanimously approved the action 4-0. Trustee Jim Joseph was absent, being out of town on business.
The next steps to the brewery project will be site plan and architectural approval by the village planning board. That board met the night before, on Monday, June 10, but did not discuss the project, said its Chair Rich Huftalen. “We will begin our consideration of site plan review as quickly as possible,” he said.
The planning board expects to discuss the Empire project at its next meeting on Monday, July 8.
The approved resolution, as well as all other documents related to the brewery project, are available for public viewing at village hall.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.