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Another zone change kerfuffle

EDITORIAL

Ledyard Avenue residents last week voiced extensive concerns and criticisms at a public hearing about the village’s proposed local law to create a new zoning district and to 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. As we report in this week’s issue, the village board was shocked at the vehement criticisms and had no idea they were coming. We, likewise, did not expect the public hearing to turn into such a long and heated discussion, and had no idea residents were upset over the Western Gateway proposal.

The intent of the proposed law 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, the mayor has said. This is a laudable idea — especially concerning the dilapidated Trush property — and, like most others at the meeting, we see no hidden agenda or malicious intent in the village’s proposal. The “Western Gateway” is the primary entrance into our community and its upkeep and presentation is important because it is a visitor’s first impression of Cazenovia.

We do share some of the neighbors’ concerns about the proposal, however, such as the need for the law to be more specific as to what is or is not allowed to be built or removed, and what types and sizes of businesses will be allowed. We agree with resident Max Gale’s comments that some of the law’s nebulous guidelines and lack of definitions offer the opportunity for builder-versus-neighbors-versus-village arguments at the very least, and lawsuits or unintendedly monstrous new buildings at the worst.

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