Jul 22, 2014 Ashley Wolf Uncategorized
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.
“If this proposal passes, it would increase [both] parking and traffic,” Harris said. “Would backyards be paved to be parking lots? What about the runoff from the parking lots, where would that go?”
The public hearing was held to get the community members’ input because the proposal is not completely thought out yet, Fayetteville Mayor Mark Olson said.
“The only way we can get problems solved is to get [the public] involved,” Olson said.
At the meeting, Olson said Gov. Andrew Cuomo is putting a lot of pressure on the village to become a more commercially and residentially blended community. The only way the village will be properly maintained and not turned into commercial strip is if the community members and the village board work together to come up with a resolution and get in contact with the governor about the importance of Fayetteville’s residential-feel.
“If you love this village, get involved or the governor will shut it down,” Olson said. “The governor wants this [residential] village gone. People need to get upset; write letters, walk through doors, contact the governor. This board does not take anything lightly. We take our time and think together. [The board and community members] need to stick together because there are tough times ahead. It is important that we recognize this is not just an R-3 [zoning] issue. This is a village issue.”
The village board closed the public hearing following the discussion. As of press time, it is unclear whether the issue will be discussed at the next board meeting, which will be held at 6 p.m. Aug. 18.
Ashley Wolf is an intern with the Cazenovia Republican. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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