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Village planning board to ok zone change for brewery

Four-hour meeting adjourns with agreement but no approval vote

— The village planning board will recommend that Empire Brewing Company’s application for a zone change on its Route 13 property from residential to light industrial/agricultural use be approved with conditions by the village board of trustees, the planning board members agreed at their May 13 meeting. The exact conditions for the approval, however, have not been finalized, and the board’s vote to officially approve its recommendation will not occur until Thursday, May 16.

The vote delay was not caused by board disagreement but by the lateness of the hour last Monday after a four-hour meeting that began at 7:30 p.m. – focused mainly on the brewery but also on the Tops gas station project and two other regular business items – and board members’ desire to return to finalization of the conditions with fresh minds and an attorney-written draft with specific wording.

The general conditions being considered by the board include mandating that a specific percentage of the 21-acre lot remain either undeveloped open land or agricultural use only; that a vegetative buffer in line with village laws be required; that any artificial lighting not exceed certain brightness levels; that any outdoor storage areas be screened from neighbors and that access to Cazenovia Preservation Trails from the brewery property be had only through the Lorenzo property.

The board’s decision to include conditions was not only for the proposed Empire project, but also to have regulations in place for any subsequent land owners or developers of the property.

The planning board will meet again at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 16, to finalize the conditions and take the official vote. Once the recommendation is approved, it will be forwarded to the village board of trustees, which will meet at 7:30 p.m. Monday, May 20, at the village office to consider the recommendation and most likely vote on the zone change application.

The Cazenovia Republican will have a full report on the final recommendation language after its approval.

Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at editor@czenoviarepublican.com.

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