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County-village agreement OKs public use of Griffin, Salt Museum lots

— At its June 16 meeting, the Liverpool Village Board of Trustees approved two measures designed to encourage development on the basin block bounded by First and South Willow streets and Lake Drive.

They passed a local law allowing site review applicants — who must demonstrate that enough nearby parking exists to accommodate customers — to count parking spaces located on-street and/or in municipal parking lots within 500 feet of the site. The new law, Local Law C, allows site-plan applicants to count up to 50 percent of their required parking that way.

Then the trustees unanimously approved a related inter-municipal agreement with Onondaga County allowing village businesses to utilize two parking lots owned by County Parks and Recreation at Onondaga Lake Park. Site-plan applicants will be able to count parking spaces available there.

The agreement, which was unanimously OKed by the County Legislature on June 3, made available parking lots at the Griffin Visitor Center and the Salt Museum.

At a brief public hearing conducted by the Liverpool trustees on June 16, Wendy Marsh, an attorney representing Liverpool restaurateur John Gormel who owns the Barking Gull, said that the lack of lighting and sidewalks at the Griffin lot would violate the village’s legal duty to provide “safe and convenient” pedestrian access to and from its municipal parking lots.

Marsh also questioned how long the agreement would remain in place. “What’s going to happen if the agreement is terminated?” she asked. “Applicants should know the agreement could be terminated.”

Village Attorney John Langey anticipates the agreement to be continued “far into the future.” The county, he said, “knows that this will help local businesses and put more sales-tax money in its pocket as a result.”

As to safety, the agreement calls for the village to provide “enhanced police patrol” of the two county lots. Mayor Gary White, a former deputy chief of police in Syracuse, said some lighting may need to be added at the Griffin lot and noted that the Salt Museum lot is already well-lit and has sidewalks.

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