Final version of proposed Western Gateway zoning law now online

Village board may vote on law at Sept. 2 meeting

— Three months, five public hearings and vast amounts of public comment after the introduction of the proposed Western Gateway zoning district law, village officials have posted online the fifth and final version of the proposed legislation.

The village board intends to continue receiving public input on the proposal until its next regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 2, at which time it will officially close the public hearing and could possibly vote on the law.

“At this point, I feel 100 percent comfortable we have done everything possible to address the concerns of those people in that zone,” said Mayor Kurt Wheeler.

The final draft of the law was created after the village board received additional input during its Aug. 4 public hearing, and the legislation committee held a work session to consider and incorporate that input on Tuesday, Aug. 12.

The major concern broached by opponents of the legislation on Aug. 4 was the absence of a specific regulation on the use of impervious surfaces for driveways, walkways and parking areas. Concerned residents suggested that the law include a 15 percent impervious surface rule — which is currently in use under the Cazenovia town code. During the meeting, Wheeler said such a rule will not work in the village because of the smaller lot sizes versus town lot sizes.

One of the two major changes in the final Western Gateway law was the language concerning use of pervious and semi-pervious surfaces, Wheeler said. While Draft 4 of the law stated pervious and semi-pervious surfaces “must be used to the maximum extent practicable,” Draft 5 states the use of pervious and semi-pervious surfaces is “encouraged, but not necessarily required.”

Wheeler said the legislation committee took the advice of the village engineer, the chair of the Cazenovia Area Conservation Committee and current and past town planning board chairpersons, whose “overwhelming advice” was not to include the impervious percentage and to keep the “engineered option” for stormwater management, such as was in Draft 4.

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