To the editor:
Residents of Forman Street, Albany Street, Hurd Street, Sullivan Street and residents of any others residential areas in Cazenovia should be concerned, as are we, about the apparent willingness of the village board to change existing zoning laws simply to accommodate special interests.
Zoning laws are enacted to give property owners and residents confidence that the character of their neighborhood will remain constant. The proposed Western Gateway zone change runs co9unter to that philosophy. There is no fairness in radically altering the character of an existing residential zone to benefit two interested parties — one who wants to sell and one who wants to expand a business.
Why is this zone change even proposed? This area was not targeted for any further development in the Comprehensive Plan, on which much time and many dollars were spent. The “grand homes” on Ledyard Avenue are still grand and in good repair. If you accept this statement then you have to ask the question, which has remained unanswered: What is driving this proposal and why is it necessary?
Moreover, looking at the language of the proposed law more carefully, we find it to be flawed and internally inconsistent. If the intent of the zone change is to encourage the maintenance and historic preservation of the grand homes along the avenue, then why are changes and alterations to the exterior — and even demolition — permitted? And why is there no mandate to preserve the existing footprint of the properties?
This seems to be “spot zoning” turned on its head: creating a whole new zone which sweeps in properties that should remain residential in order that the village is not accused of spot zoning for just one owner who has a special permit. If the village wants to rectify its lack of enforcement regarding the property at 5 Ledyard Ave., and wants to help the owner of the Brewster Inn expand his business in a fitting way, then a creative and narrower solution which seeks to balance the competing interests is certainly achievable given the goo dminds we have here in Cazenovia. But to allow an event center with its attendant noise and likely off-premises shuttle transportation is what will cause the inevitable commercialization we have all seen happen along Route 5 in Fayetteville, an area that has rapidly become a non-cohesive jumble of properties and temporary signage.
We oppose the current law as written and appeal for support in opposing the proposed Western Gateway zone change
DAVID AND MARGERY CONNOR