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Cazenovia College returns to village planning board for latest fence request

Application ruled incomplete, asked to revise for January

— Cazenovia College appeared before the village planning board last week to seek site plan approval once again for its proposed 1,420 linear feet fence spanning the edges of the Schneeweiss Athletic Complex. The appearance comes after months of legal wrangling between the college and the town over the fence, and is the result of a state supreme court judge’s decision that the college must go through a full site plan approval process.

The application already hit a small bump, however, when the planning board determined during its Dec. 9 meeting that the college’s application was incomplete, and asked them to resubmit a full application in January.

The issue — which has been highly contentious between the college and its village neighbors — also took a bad turn when the college submitted a site plan survey to the planning board that not only showed the proposed fence but also delineated where neighbors have encroached on college lands. Numerous people with knowledge of the survey found it to be unnecessary and even provocative considering the ongoing opposition of the neighbors.

“The survey was required as part of the application for a proposed fence. It was also necessary to determine any future landscaping plan. When a surveyor does a perimeter survey, encroachments are noted as a matter of course,” said Cazenovia College President Mark Tierno. “While some notations fall outside the proposed fence line, we had asked for a complete survey, not a partial one. There are numerous delineations on the survey and the overwhelming majority of them have nothing to do with encroachments; rather, they serve to provide informed choices for the proposed fence and landscaping plan as well as day-to-day operations. The three or four instances of encroachment will be managed as separate matters.”

College neighbors, for their part, attended the Dec. 9 meeting thinking it was a public hearing, which it was not, but many of them submitted letters to the planning board once again urging the board not to allow the fence to be built.

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