The announcement last week that a state supreme court judge dismissed the multiple lawsuits filed against the Aldi/Cazenovia Market development project was welcome news — and a big win for the citizens of Cazenovia. We will now have an affordable alternative store in which to buy groceries with the addition of Aldi to town (an alternative sorely needed), and more affordable housing for seniors. Best of all, the Cazenovia Market project (which includes not only Aldi and senior apartments, but three other businesses) will bring about a $6 million increase in taxable assessed value to the village, according to the mayor. The development will remove the blight of the defunct motel and diner and drastically improve the aesthetics of the eastern village gateway. The Aldi will also bring more people to town to shop, which will, in effect, bring more people to experience Cazenovia and come back to visit, shop in our downtown stores and improve our tourist trade.
We understand that some village residents have concerns that the project will destroy the supposed bucolic look, feel and lifestyle of Cazenovia, and we respect that, but, let’s be honest, in a village of more than 2,500 people (and a town of about 7,000 people) the vocal opposition to this project amounted to about 50 people, if that. That is not a “majority” of Cazenovians opposing this project, no matter what those few opponents claim. In our experience and our daily communication with scores of local residents, the support for this project has been overwhelming, and we know that this development is welcomed by a vast majority of Cazenovians, not opposed by them.
This project is now moving forward, but there still are acres of commercial space in the Village Edge South zone — and farther east along Route 20 — than can and probably will be developed in the future. We must, as a community, continue to remain aware and informed of what proposals lie ahead, to support and oppose what we believe is or is not in the best interests of Cazenovia.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.