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Caz College lawsuit over Christakos Field fence is heavy-handed, unfriendly, confrontational

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

To the editor:

Cazenovia College asked the state supreme court to reject a decision by the village zoning board of appeals requiring the college to seek approval to build a fence around its new turf field (reported in the Cazenovia Republican, May 30). The college plans to construct a six-foot-high, chain-link fence over a quarter-mile in length located three feet from the property lines of more than a dozen homes on Lincklaen Street and Lincklaen Terrace in the historic district. The village is going to have to spend its limited resources on litigation to defend its right to review a project.

Installing the fence would require removing existing mature trees and vegetation. The fence would be plainly visible from the abutting houses, as well as by pedestrians and motorists on Lincklaen Street, Lincklaen Terrace and South Ten Eyck Street.

The ZBA did not reject the college’s proposal to build a fence. The board merely said the fence plan must be reviewed first. College President Mark Tierno has sought to avoid any such review. Tierno seeks to build the fence without review and without regard to the consequences for neighbors, the neighborhood or the character and historic integrity of the village.

The attempt to evade review and push through the fence plan is unfriendly and confrontational, contemptuous both of abutting neighbors and the village at large. To achieve the goal, Tierno seems intent on spending institutional resources on lawyers, thereby forcing the village to commit limited taxpayer funds to defend its proper right to review a major project.

Should the college succeed in skirting village review of the fence project, a disturbing precedent will have been set. Other shoes are waiting to drop — lights, a public address system and press box, stadium seating — each, like the fence, renounced during the field-approval process but, like the fence, sure to be put forward again.

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