Jul 11, 2013 Jason Emerson Uncategorized
Two houses at the end of Farnham Street near the Albany Street intersection may soon be rezoned from a residential to a commercial district to make way for two new food-related businesses and a new fire department parking lot.
The zone change requests were addressed by the village board of trustees at its regular monthly meeting on July 1.
Cazenovia resident Susan Light recently purchased the colonial-style, two-bedroom house at 8 Farnham St. intending to refurbish the structure and put a commercial-grade kitchen on the first floor and use the two second-floor rooms as office space. The first floor would support two small local food-related businesses: Light’s specialty desserts and wedding cake business and a heat-and-serve dinner meals business by town resident Jen Wong.
In a letter to the village board dated June 17, and again during the July 1 board meeting, Light said her repurposing of the house at 8 Farnham St. would offer several benefits to the village, such as contributing to the rejuvenation of the Farnham and Albany streets area, the business — the exterior of the building would retain its 1848 residential appearance — would serve as a buffer between the commercial section along Albany Street and the residential section that runs north on Farnham Street and the two new businesses would contribute to the local economy.
Trustee Jim Joseph asked about current parking available and anticipated for the repurposed building, which currently has only two spots, and if Wong’s business would be delivery or pick-up.
“I think you’re on to something and will be very successful,” Joseph said. “But I could see a parking issue.”
Light said her business will be appointment-only, while Wong said she could see her prepared meals business going either delivery or pick-up depending on parking accessibility on Farnham Street. Light added that both businesses are taking a smaller, “artisanal” approach to the endeavor rather than a large-scale, commercial approach.
Mayor Kurt Wheeler said Light’s house at 8 Farnham St. is currently in an R-6 residential district but it borders on a B-1 general business district. This proximity to a different zone plus the fact that the business would serve as a buffer between residences and the adjoining lot at 6 Farnham St., which is slated to be demolished and made into a parking lot for the Cazenovia Fire Department, makes the zone change possibility “certainly viable.”
Trustee Fritz Koennecke agreed that the buffer idea “makes a lot of sense.”
The trustees then discussed the separate but related zone change request from the fire department for the lot at 6 Farnham St. to be changed from residential to commercial.
The house at 6 Farnham St., a 1,896-square-foot house built in 1850 that abuts the current fire department station, was purchased by the village in April 2011 for $91,750 specifically for fire department use as extra parking or eventual building expansion. The village plans to demolish the house and is currently in the asbestos-removal phase of that process.
Superintendent of Public Works Bill Carr said the contractor estimates he recently received for the work of removing the asbestos and demolishing the house ranged from $35,000 to $50,000. By contrast, the same work on the recently-demolished house at 22 Lincklaen St., which was much smaller in size than 6 Farnham, cost the village $22,000.
Wheeler said there will be “a significant expense” to removing the house at 6 Farnham St., and the village will continue to do its research on how best to fund the job.
The trustees unanimously agreed to refer both zone change requests to the village planning board for advisory opinions, and also to schedule a public hearing to consider the zone change issue before the village board at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 8, at the Village Municipal Building at 90 Albany St.
Also at the meeting, the board:
—Scheduled a special board meeting for 7 p.m. Monday, July 15, to meet with the town board to discuss the project to extend village sidewalks down Fenner Street to Fenner Field. They also scheduled public hearings for the same night at 7:15 p.m. to discuss grant applications underway for further Carpenter’s Barn improvements and for repair and renovation of the Lakeland Park stone wall.
—Rescheduled its regular August meeting to 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 8, and rescheduled its regular September meeting to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 3.
—Approved a request by Summit Church to close a portion of Seminary Avenue on Friday, July 26, to hold its Vacation Bible School family night from 5 to 7:30 p.m.
—Unanimously approved a resolution to expend up to $14,500 to purchase a pay station for the new 22 Lincklaen St. parking lot. The lot will charge one dollar per hour for parking and will accept cash only. The station is equipped to be upgraded to accept credit cards in the future. The board also heard an update on the parking lot construction from Superintendent of Public Works Bill Carr that, weather-depending, the lot should be completed by the middle of August.
—Created a new category for village fees regarding “occasional operators” (or vendors) in village parks. The current fee is $250 regardless of duration of vending in a village park. The new fee schedule will charge according to the number of days per year vendors operate in a park: under 20 will cost $50, 21 to 40 will cost $100 and 41 or more will cost $150.
—Created a new fee structure for peddlers’ licenses in the village. Peddlers currently are required to register with the village and undergo background checks but pay no fee. The new schedule will charge peddlers a $100 per individual base fee for a peddling license (which covers the cost of the background check), with a tiered fee system of $250 for every additional 30-day increment the peddler(s) operate in the village.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.