Village board won’t decide on brewery zone change until June

— Cazenovia community members eager to know whether the village board of trustees will or will not approve a zone change for the proposed brewery on Route 13 must wait another two weeks for the decision.

After a two-hour special meeting Monday, May 20, called specifically to consider the zone change application in the wake of a positive recommendation from the village planning board last week, the trustees chose to follow the planning board’s lead and hold off its vote until the village attorney draws up a specific resolution on which the board can take action. The resolution will be based on the board’s May 20 discussions, and will most likely be presented and voted on at the board’s next regular monthly meeting on Monday, June 3.

“This has been a very lengthy and rigorous process, and trying to do it all in one sitting tonight is probably too much, just as the planning board discovered last week,” said Mayor Kurt Wheeler. “If we identify anything to fix tonight we will certainly do that. Our goal is to provide enough direction for [Village Attorney Jim Stokes] tonight so he can write up a resolution that we can take action on at a subsequent meeting.”

The issue of the zone change application for the brewery’s land has been before both village boards since February.

Empire Brewing Company’s 22-acre lot on Route 13 was annexed into the village in late January as an R30 residential zone. The company petitioned the village in February for a zone change to a light industrial/agricultural/retail business/restaurant use. Without the zone change, the brewery cannot be built.

The planning board previously was tasked by the board of trustees with submitting a recommendation based on their information and hearings as to whether or not the village board should approve the zone change request. After months of information gathering and public hearings, the planning board issued a positive – although non-binding – recommendation with specific conditions to the village board on Friday, May 17.

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