Mayor and community members voice concerns about F’ville zoning proposal

— The village of Fayetteville's proposal to amend zoning chapter 187-7 was discussed at a public hearing, held on July 14. Community members came to voice their opinions and concerns on specific topics such as parking and the possibility of a commercialized appearance of the village. The board discussed the importance of the public’s input and the pressure it has been getting from the governor to create a more business and residential “blended” village.

If the proposal passed, the homeowners within the R-3 district would be able to rent out parts of their home as commercial space. This specific district covers the Elm Street neighborhood, across East Genesee Street and to the neighborhoods west of the Fayetteville Free Library. The three main goals of the proposal are to prevent regression of the village’s oldest homes, maximize land use by allowing more commercial development and help maintain the district’s overall appearance.

Concerns of “creeping commercialism” and the idea that the village’s residentially-peaceful environment could become commercialized were discussed by some of the proposal’s opposers. One of these opposers was Fayetteville resident Jim Sweeney.

“[The board has] a lot to think about,” Sweeney said. “Elm street backyards [could become] strips of businesses and blacktops. Sooner or later, everything could [then] be blacktopped.”

The proposed plan would change the zoning policies so that homeowners could use up to 25 percent of the total floor area to rent out to a specific type of professional: accountants, actuaries, architects, engineers, financial consultants, lawyers or social workers would be allowed. However, no more than three employees would be able to work at the business.

Many of the plan’s opposers are concerned with the number of employees and amount of floor area that may be allotted to a business. With a bigger business and more employees, the bigger parking becomes a problem, said Fayetteville resident Bill Harris.

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