Cazenovia College files notice of appeal over fence permit issue

Action called a procedural matter pending planning board review and approval

— One month after a state supreme court judge ruled that Cazenovia College must undergo a full site plan review for its proposed fence project around the Schneeweiss Athletic Complex, the college is moving forward with getting its fence erected by preparing its submission to the village planning board. However, working under a court deadline and wanting to keep its options open, the college also last week filed a notice of appeal with the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York seeking redress for part of State Supreme Court Judge Donald F. Cerio, Jr.’s Oct. 22 decision.

“We fully intend to apply to the planning board for a permit to put up a perimeter fence around our athletics property and hope that there are no difficulties encountered,” said Cazenovia College President Mark Tierno. “However, if the planning board does not approve our request for a perimeter fence, then we would have no choice but to proceed in court.”

Tierno said the appeal was filed as a procedural matter to keep that option open to the college since it had only 30 days to file from the date of Cerio’s Oct. 22 decision. “The college could not wait to learn the outcome of the planning board’s process and then appeal,” he said.

The fence issue concerns more than one year of disagreements between the college and the village over the institution’s proposal to build 1,420 linear feet fence (six feet in height and made of chain link with black vinyl coating) spanning the eastern, northern and western edges of the its Schneeweiss Athletic Complex. The main purpose of the fence is to protect the college’s $1 million investment in its turf athletic field, which was built in 2011-12.

Village Zoning Enforcement Officer Bill Carr denied the college’s permit application to build the fence in July 2012, and declared that the fence was not an independent project but part of the college’s previous turf field project, and as such the proposed fence was “segmentation,” or submitting separate parts of the same project for zoning approval individually instead of as a whole as a way to prevent a possible negative outcome of a site plan review.

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