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Ledyard Avenue neighbors continue to oppose Western Gateway proposal

— After three public meetings and three proposal drafts, Ledyard Avenue residents remain opposed to the proposed new law that would change the zoning on their street — what is being called the “Western Gateway district” — to allow for more and varied building uses in the area. Continuing to question not only the reason, but also the motivations, behind the proposal, project opponents filled the village board meeting room last week to continue to press for the withdrawal of the law, or, at the very least, significant revisions, clarifications and changes to the proposed language.

“This proposal is flawed and inconsistent,” said Ledyard Avenue resident Margie Connor, adding that if the goal of the proposal is to preserve the scenic approach to the village, “This is not the way to approach it. This is Route 5 in Fayetteville,” with all its signs, businesses and commercialism. “The whole character of that approach to Fayetteville has changed,” she said.

Dr. Bill Loftus, also a Ledyard resident, agreed, saying that the “basic premise” of the proposed law is to change a residential neighborhood into a commercial zone. If this is approved, the grand houses on Ledyard Avenue will fall, one-by-one, and become business structures, until the street is nothing but a “commercial strip,” he said.

“Mr. Mayor, village trustees, leave Ledyard Ave. alone,” Loftus said.

The proposed law, publicly introduced in June, would establish a new “Western Gateway” zoning district and change the zoning of certain land parcels on both sides of Ledyard Avenue from Route 13/Lakeland Park to the western village boundary by the Trush property. The intention is to emphasize new and more potential uses for the large old homes on Ledyard Avenue as a way to prevent deterioration of those properties, to maximize land use by allowing more commercial development and to help beautify the village entranceway area overall, according to Mayor Kurt Wheeler.

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