Village approves annexation of state wetland at south end of lake

— The village board last week approved the annexation into the village of an 18-acre plot of state-managed wetland at the south end of the lake. The land is located between Lorenzo State Historic Site and the Trush property, and its annexation was completed in order to make the Trush property contiguous to the village so the owner of that property can request annexation.

The Trush property, located at the intersection of routes 20 and 92, once held a railroad station and most recently a gas station and car dealership. The brown building currently on the site has been vacant and deteriorating for decades. Ideas to raze the building and construct something more useful and attractive have been discussed for years, but have gone nowhere. In 2012, local developer Doug Shepard optioned the land for purchase from the Trush family, and has been working for months with village, town and state officials to move forward with his plans to redevelop the site.

In order for any new building eventually constructed there to be connected to village sewer and water, the land — currently in the town — must be annexed into the village. To be annexed, however, a parcel must be contiguous with the village, which the Trush property was not due to the 18 acres of state-owned wetland in between it and the village border.

The recent annexation of the state wetland now opens the opportunity for Shepard to request annexation of the Trush property.

At the board’s Sept. 3 meeting, Village Attorney Jim Stokes said the board was voting on resolutions to accept a negative declaration for the State Environmental Quality Review and to either approve or reject annexation.

Mayor Kurt Wheeler reiterated statements previously made throughout this annexation process that there is “no development of any kind” planned for the state wetland property.

The board, absent Trustee Jim Joseph who was out of town, unanimously voted to approve annexation.

Stokes said that with the village board’s approval the next step is for the Cazenovia Town Board to approve a similar resolution. After that, the village board must then approve a local law to finalize the annexation, which can be done at the board’s Oct. 7 regular meeting.

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

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