Sep 25, 2012 Ned Campbell Uncategorized
About 10 Fayetteville residents spoke at a public hearing held by the village board on Monday.
The hearing was to consider amending the zoning of the property once home to the McIntyre paper mill, on Mill Street, from Industrial to Planned Residential Development.
Mayor Mark Olson said the property is one of five former industrial sites now vacant in the village.
“We have a lot of change that’s going to happen in this village over the next few years in the evolution of those properties,” he said. “Right now those properties are not benefiting anyone in the village.”
Developer Tom Goodfellow, of Manlius, wants to build 20 bungalow-style homes — five townhouses and 15 single-family — in the area that surrounds Ledyard Canal and call it “McIntyre Commons at Ledyard Canal.” The homes would be marketed to “empty nesters,” Goodfellow said.
He said he and his wife, who have three kids that are all “out on their own,” plan to move to Fayetteville and live in one of those single-family homes.
“I am the market,” he said.
Mayor Olson said this was the village board’s third public hearing on the issue. The board previously approved rezoning the land under Goodfellow’s original proposal, which entailed building no more than 17 units. Goodfellow has since changed his proposal to include a maximum of 20 units, which required the board to approve rezoning the land to PRD under those conditions.
Goodfellow said he changed his proposal to 20 units in order to make five of the units the more affordable townhouses.
“We’re not stuffing units in there, but we have a maximum number that we do need to make the project viable,” he said.
A handful of residents offered concerns relating to the number of units proposed.
“Why didn’t you just leave it at 17 instead of the townhouses?” asked Nancy Neary, of Clinton Street, which turns into Mill Street. “It just doesn’t sound right for the village to have townhouses.”
Goodfellow said the townhouses would start at $200,000, and the single-family homes at $250,000. Neary questioned whether empty-nesters would be willing to spend $250,000 on a home — to which the mayor responded: “[People] want to live in the village of Fayetteville. Our census went up. We have an area that’s very strong … Houses are selling, and people are moving in.”
Former village trustee Mary Coleman brought up the development’s proximity to Limestone Creek.
“My concern is the cliffs,” she said. “Limestone Creek’s side, you have five units. How close is the back end of the unit to the cliff, and is there solid ground under every one of those units?”
“There is solid ground,” Goodfellow said. “We had a geotechnical engineer there last week. We dug holes from 10 to 12 feet deep. And he’s going to have a report for the planning board about this. We don’t want another bluff problem.”
When asked by Steve Billmyer, of Clinton Street, how many “off-road” parking spots each home would have, Goodfellow said there would be parking for two cars — one in the garage and one in the driveway.
“You want a denser amount of units with less parking,” Billmyer responded.
“Twenty is a good number and it works — it’s not densely populated by any means,” Goodfellow said.
Jean Hill, of Clinton Street, asked if Goodfellow had done a traffic study of the area. Goodfellow said his engineers will be conducting a traffic study, which will be reviewed by the village’s engineers.
The village board recently added a stop sign to Clinton Street for drivers heading west toward Mill Street in anticipation of the development. Some residents said they’ve seen people drive through the stop sign or stop at the last second, causing near-accidents.
The board discussed turning that sweeping road into a corner in the future, which would force drivers to stop before turning.
“We’ll straighten that road up if we have to because I think it’s the right thing to do, either way, from a safety standpoint,” Olson said. “But the density and the other issues on the site will be dealt with by the planning board.”
Planning Board Chair Jane Rice confirmed that issues such as density, traffic, parking, drainage and the overall site plan will be reviewed by the planning board, which will hold its own public hearing to consider approving the project.
After nearly an hour of discussion by residents, Goodfellow and the board, the trustees voted unanimously to rezone the area from Industrial to PRD. Olson noted that if the project does not get off the ground within a year, the zoning will revert to Industrial.
Ned Campbell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.