The Cazenovia Town Board last week moved forward on four proposed local laws and the proposed joint sewer district consolidation agreement by holding three public hearings, introducing one new law and setting five more public hearings to occur between now and Sept. 8.
The board’s actions — conducted by three of the five board members, with Councilors Pat Race and Tom Driscoll absent — included continued work on the noise ordinance and special events law, a new proposal to add regulations for construction in highways, a new law to tighten up zoning issues and permitted uses in New Woodstock and the first steps in the board’s sewer district consolidation plans.
The board’s July 14 regular monthly meeting began with continued public hearings on the proposed noise ordinance and special events regulations, and, despite a crowded and collaborative discussion on both in June, the July public hearings saw only handful of people in attendance.
The proposed laws, introduced by the board in May, would prevent and control excessive noise and establish procedures and requirements to hold special events. Although the new laws would affect the entire town of Cazenovia, the impetus for their creation arose from the controversy between Owera Vineyards and its East Lake Road neighbors last summer due to complaints about the winery’s summer events.
Little new was added to the discussions of the laws, with concerned residents reiterating their concern over aspects of the laws’ wording and lack of specificity in certain areas. Town Attorney John Langey did say that the state Department of Agriculture and Markets is reviewing both laws — the special events law at the request of the town and the noise ordinance at the request of Owera Vineyards — and he would be talking to DAM officials about both over the telephone in the near future.
Langey said that if the board makes any “substantive changes” to either proposed law, the changes will be posted on the town website and additional public hearings will be scheduled so the public has opportunities to comment.
“The public should realize we are not going to hurry this along; it will be a very slow process,” said Supervisor Bill Zupan. “We are going to thoroughly vet these laws.”
Langey added that even if the board passes these laws, that does not mean they will be set in stone. “The town board has the power to amend the law … they could be adjusted to reflect the reality of situations,” he said.
The board also held a public hearing on proposed Local Law C, to amend chapter 142 (streets and sidewalks) of the town code to add regulations for construction in highways. The law would establish regulations for the issuance of permits for driveways and for construction within highways in the town. No members of the public spoke during the public hearing. The board unanimously approved the law.
The board also introduced proposed Local Law D, “A local law to amend chapter 165 (zoning) of the town code to amend permitted and specially permitted uses in the New Woodstock hamlet overlay and New Woodstock central business overlay districts in the Town of Cazenovia.” The town code currently allows a number of permitted buildings and uses in New Woodstock by right, as set by the board in 2009 through zoning and subdivision laws, and the proposed law would change those uses from being by right to needing special use permits issued by the town planning board, said Councilor Kristi Andersen.
The board unanimously voted to declare the law of Type 1 action under the State Environmental Quality Review Act and scheduled a public hearing on the law for 7:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 11.
Full texts of all proposed and passed laws can be found online at the town website at townofcazenovia.org or at the town office.
Also at the meeting, the board:
—Scheduled a work session to further discuss the architectural designs for the Gothic Cottage and estimated costs associated with various options for 7 p.m. Thursday, July 31, in the town office. Architects from Holmes, King, Kallquist and Associates will attend the meeting. Langey said the meeting will also include special town board meeting so the board may vote on specific actions if necessary.
—Scheduled a public hearing about the proposed joint sewer district consolidation agreement between the Town of Cazenovia and the existing Town of Cazenovia Sewer Districts for 7:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 8. More information on the proposal is available on the town website at townofcazenovia.org under the “Legal notices” tab.
—Heard from Zupan that the levels of Renovate herbicide have decreased in Chittenango Creek to the point that that the irrigation ban has been lifted from Carpenter’s Pond north to Oneida Lake. He said Cazenovia Lake will be tested soon to determine its Renovate levels as well.
—Heard from Andersen that the town will support the Cazenovia Preservation Foundation’s current efforts to obtain a Farmland Protection Grant for the Pushlar Farm, located on Fenner Road, the acreage of which is located in both the towns of Cazenovia and Fenner. The grant would protect the farm’s land from any future subdivision for non-agricultural uses in perpetuity. The Fenner Town Board last week also agreed to support the grant application.
—Approved the use parts of Hoffman, Ridge and Chard roads for the Aug. 10 Cazenovia Triathlon.
—Approved the use of the town green for the St. James Roman Catholic Church annual parish picnic on Aug. 23.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.