Feb 04, 2009 Martha E. Conway Uncategorized
An ad hoc committee set up by Supervisor John M. Becker (R,C,I — Sullivan) hosted a workshop to solicit public opinion last week. Those attending, people who live on or adjacent to the Route 31 corridor, overwhelmingly said they don’t want to see Cicero sprawl come their way if a proposed sewer project in the area is implemented.
About 40 people attended.
Sewers or no, the visioning session was part of longer-term plan of the town of Sullivan to study the area and find some harmony between residential and commercial interests that will complement each other.
Sandra Governor, Christian Lawton and Keith Ewald of Barton & Loguidice Architects and Engineers gave an overview of the study and the purpose of the research being conducted to find aesthetically pleasing yet commercially friendly options for the area.
The trio brought with them a fairly extensive knowledge of the area. Ewald recently led the update of the village of Chittenango’s comprehensive plan, and Lawton has been a fixture in the proposed Bridgeport Sewer District, among other projects, for several years.
Planning Board Chairman Frank Park, who facilitated the ad hoc group, explained that the town is not out to write new zoning laws for the area, but that could be a possibility depending on the results of the study.
Committee members, with the help of the Barton & Loguidice staff on hand, facilitated small group discussion and brainstorming. At the end of the brainstorming session, each group sent an individual to present its ideas to the rest of the crowd.
Overwhelmingly, those in attendance expressed a desire for building design standards, minimum lot sizes, walking/biking paths or trails, signage standards, a canoe/kayak launch onto Chittenango Creek, enforcement of existing zoning laws, business-specific zoning and sidewalks through Bridgeport.
One group threw out the idea of incorporating Bridgeport as a village to ensure any infrastructure installed, such as sidewalks and signs, would be maintained.
Because many buildings in the hamlet are set so close to Route 31, some residents said they can’t walk between some buildings and the roadway. A minimum and uniform setback was suggested.
To make the area more aesthetically pleasing, landscaping and other design standards were suggested to increase greenery and the space for that feature.
A number of the groups also were emphatic that any driveways for commercial and residential structures feed onto reasonably spaced side roads instead of having a driveway every 50 feet along Route 31. Related to that suggestion was the recommendation that no parking front Route 31, instead being located on the side or in the rear of businesses.
Light pollution and drainage also were discussed.
All the groups reported that commercial endeavors should be limited to those things that support a small-town feel: a grocery store, Laundromat, small retail and service businesses were among those suggested.
“We don’t want a mall and don’t want a Wal-Mart,” one presenter said. “No billboards, no adult stores.”
Expanding the business district from Bridgeport to Petrie Road would “open us up to Wal-Mart and bigger businesses” that will put our small local businesses out of business, one participant said.
The information was recorded by each group and collected by Barton & Loguidice. Governor said the data would be written up as a chapter in the study and provided to the town.
“We will be bringing all this back to the steering committee, putting it all together and coming up with a concept plan to bring back to the public at another public meeting,” Governor said.