Jun 08, 2009 Doug Campbell Uncategorized
Village officials removed properties on the west side of Sullivan Street from the newly proposed college district and split the district into two distinct categories after receiving public input on the first draft of the zoning. Deputy Mayor Kurt Wheeler presented the proposed changes at a public hearing June 1.
The originally proposed district would allow for greater flexibility on its campus, while village officials simultaneously plan to disallow post-secondary educational uses in residential neighborhoods.
The second draft removes Sullivan Street properties from the college district, leaving it as a residential district. The new draft also delineates between two different college districts, a C-1 and C-2 district. C-1 covers the college’s traditional academic quadrangle as well as Seminary Street properties. The C-2 district covers the old Stearns and Wheler complex on Albany Street as well as the college’s athletic complex.
The C-1 district does not directly border any residential neighborhoods, but only streets and businesses in the B-1 district.
“This is of course the area where the college has the greatest interest in having flexibility and being able to do new and innovative things to make use of the space that they have,” Deputy Mayor Kurt Wheeler said.
Properties in the C-2 district, however, do abut residential neighborhoods. These properties require greater sensitivity, Wheeler said. C-2 district properties would have more restrictions and would require a minimum 25-foot landscaped buffer between properties — this buffer would vary based on the adjacent zoning district, with 25 feet as a constant minimum.
The maximum building height in the C-2 district would be 30 feet rather than the C-1 district’s 35-foot maximum. These areas require greater sensitivity because of their proximity to neighborhoods, Wheeler said.
Some issues were deliberately left out of the second draft because they are still being considered and contemplated.
“Rather than rushing in and putting in language that may not be 100-percent correct, let’s take advantage of another whole month and continue to receive input and really do that in a thoughtful manner,” Wheeler said. “When we say this is a second draft, please take that very literally. This is not the final draft. There will be some continuing modifications and improvement based on public input.”
Wheeler said there have been considerable rumors and misinformation circulating regarding the new district.
“I’ve gotten calls from people horrified — ‘I heard that the college is going to build a hundred-foot dormitory in my backyard and the plans are already underway and they’ve already been to the planning board, and ‘ — I mean, crazy things,” Wheeler said. “But we’re trying very hard to convey what is being contemplated, what is on the table, and to keep it a matter of public record and again, having a series of these public meetings so that people will have accurate information and not be worried about something that is inaccurate.”
The public hearing was continued to 6:50 p.m. July 6, before next month’s village board meeting at the municipal building on Albany Street.
Last meeting for Brownback, Tait
The June 1 board meeting was the last village board meeting for two trustees, Thomas Tait and Russ Brownback.
“I’d like to say that they’ve been fantastic trustees and I only wish that sometime down the line they might decide to get back into public service,” said Mayor Thomas Dougherty. “They were great public servants. I’ve said that these guys have worked right down to the wire — I think if you’re going to be around the last day of their term, which is June 30, they’ll still be working on village business.”
Tait and Brownback served on the village board beginning in 2007.
Brownback said that his proudest accomplishment was the finalization of the comprehensive plan and the beginning of zoning changes implementing the plan into law.
When running for office, Brownback said he spoke with hundreds of Cazenovia residents.
“What I learned is exactly what I thought,” he said. “People want growth, but they want it in a way that keeps Cazenovia special and unique.”
Brownback believes that the board accomplished this balance.
“Cazenovia now has a blueprint for smart growth for the next 10 years that will absolutely facilitate commercial growth and help the tax base,” he said. “What we have now is specific, it says exactly what we want and where we want it. If you’re a developer, you don’t have to be scared to come to Cazenovia.”
Tait, who has been instrumental in his role as commissioner of trees for the village, plans to remain on the tree commission.
Mayor Dougherty and several members of the community thanked Brownback and Tait for their work on the board.
“They did a heck of a job and I want to thank them both very much,” Dougherty said.
The village election to fill the two trustee slots will be held from noon to 9 p.m. on June 16 at the American Legion Post 88.