Cazenovia Farnham Street residents presented a petition to the village board this week opposing the requested zone change of a house on their street from a residential to a commercial district. The petition is the latest salvo in the continuing — and increasingly passionate — uprising of the Farnham Street neighborhood against the proposed “Farnham Kitchen” at 8 Farnham St. that will, if it comes to fruition, create a wedding cake business and ready-made meal business inside a historic house on the edge of the neighborhood near Albany Street.
The neighborhood petition was submitted to the board at the end of a 45-minute public hearing on Sept. 3 during which multiple residents continued their vociferous and vocal opposition to the zoning change. This recent public hearing differed from the first two meetings where this issue was broached, however, in that Farnham Street residents were much more heated, even personal, in their comments, at times suggesting shady backroom deals, purposeful omission of facts, ignorant municipal policies and statements of outright fabrications by petitioner Susan Light all in the name of selfish profit motives.
Light has said at previous public meetings, and reiterated at the Sept. 3 village board meeting, that the anticipated business operations in the two-bedroom colonial house would be “very small scale,” one-person endeavors: her custom wedding cake business and her business partner Jennifer Wong’s ready-made meal business. There would be a commercial-grade kitchen and two second-floor offices. All ingredients would be from local farms and any customers visiting the building (by appointment only) would park in the driveway, on Albany Street or in public village lots.
Farnham Street resident Fred Jung said if the zone change is approved Light will “ride in and make money” while the neighbors lose money from declining property values. “It doesn’t seem fair to me to vampirize a neighborhood” when so much retail space is available in Albany Street and in the Tops plaza, he said.