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

— The planning board’s conditions, in general, included 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 all noise and odor limitations be consistent with the village code and that access to Cazenovia Preservation Trails from the brewery property be had only through the Lorenzo property.

The village board’s May 20 special meeting consisted not only of a review and discussion of the planning board’s recommendation, but also included a full environmental impact assessment (required by state law) by going through Empire’s completed Environmental Assessment Form and by the trustees completing their own EAF form based on their determinations.

The EAF asks for specific development information and whether certain aspects of a proposed development project do or do not have an environmental impact on the site and the community. If there is an impact, the form requires the impact to be described as small to moderate, potentially large or if the impact can be mitigated by a change in the project plans.

The potential impacts listed on the EAF include effect on land, water bodies, groundwater, plant and animal life, air quality, visual aesthetics, archaeological, transportation systems, public health and safety, growth and character of a community and whether or not the project will create or is likely to create significant public controversy.

In filling out the EAF, the trustees based their answers on the complete project file, which included multiple specific site studies completed by professional organizations, as well as numerous amounts of public input.

Of the 20 potential environmental impacts listed on the EAF, the village board answered yes to 10 and no to 10. All of its “yes” answers – which were impacts on land, groundwater quality or quantity, drainage flow or groundwater runoff, air quality, agricultural land resources, visual aesthetics, existing transportation systems, noise and odor, growth and character of the community and potential public controversy – the board characterized as “small to moderate.”

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