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Skaneateles planning board rescinds VSM SEQR declaration

Victory Sports Medicine’s proposed “Victory Campus” for Skaneateles took a step backward in the approval and permitting process this week.

About 40 people were in attendance as the Skaneateles town planning board adopted a resolution to rescind its negative declaration of VSM’s State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQR) report at its March 19 meeting.

The board also placed a positive declaration on the SEQR, meaning that to proceed with the project, VSM must provide more information to the board to show that the project will not have a negative impact on the environment and will benefit the community.

The resolution, which was read out loud at the meeting by board attorney Scott Molnar, stated that the initial negative declaration was approved by the board at its Oct. 23 meeting. After that meeting, they were advised by numerous people, including village municipal director Bob Lotkowictz and Deborah Somers of the Syracuse Water Department, to request more information from VSM about the project. Since they have not received appropriate response from VSM, they are changing the declaration to positive.

Board members Joe Southern and Beth Estes both recused themselves from the discussion and vote, leaving the table for that part of the agenda. Board chairman Mark Tucker and members Scott Winkelman and Donald Kasper voted yes for the resolution.

Though this is technically a step backward for the project, VSM’s attorney requested that the planning board take this action so they could proceed with a scoping process, to provide the board with better information about the project, followed by submitting a final environmental impact statement.

Paul Sharlow, of VSM’s legal counsel, had requested that the board issue a positive declaration at their previous meeting on February 19 and was again in attendance. “I agree with the resolution as drafted,” he said.

Sharlow also said that he had requested a stand alone scoping meeting with the board in May.

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