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Village board begins work on possible Riverside Drive redevelopment plan

— During the public hearing, resident Jack Rooney said redeveloping Riverside Drive would have significant benefits to the community, but the property has “significant problems,” because it is on a flood plain, it is a brownfield site, it has steep slope, there are easements on the property and the library has specific parking requirements that must be respected.

Wheeler said there already has been “a lot of research and analysis” of the Riverside Drive area from the previous development attempt, but all of that will be taken into consideration. He said already has initiated consultations with the village’s professional planner, Dan Kwasnowski of Applied Planning, and with the county planning department.

Kwasnowski, who worked for the village on the Village Edge South zoning regulations and design guidelines, was at the June 2 meeting and said he propose to do a study on how to “move forward and pull together” a potential development plan and detailed map that includes the various characteristics of the land including the creek, the dam, the parking and the eventual buildings.

“It should fit into the character of the village,” he said.

Kwasnowski also suggested the board get input from the community and hold at least two public meetings.

Board members unanimously agreed to have Kwasnowski review the Riverside Drive project and create a map and proposed development plan. They also scheduled a special meeting to focus solely on the Riverside Drive redevelopment project for 7 p.m. Thursday, June 19, in the board meeting room of the municipal office.

Also at the meeting, the board:

—Held a public hearing on the proposed implementation of the state’s “certified local government program,” which recognizes communities that have an established historic preservation process. One of the main effects of being certified in the program for the village would be that certain responsibilities for historic preservation would be shifted from the village planning board to the village historic preservation committee, which is expected to streamline the historic preservation planning and zoning process. The board expects to vote on the program’s final approval at its July 7 meeting. The proposal draft can be found on the village website at villageofcazenovia.com, under the “Planning and Zoning” tab.

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