To the editor:
This letter was written to the Village of Cazenovia Zoning Board of Appeals prior to its public hearing on November 7. The ZBA meeting is scheduled to be continued on Monday, November 20 at 7 PM in the Municipal Building and will be open for public comment. A decision could be made at that time. All interested community members are encouraged to attend.
TO: Members of the Village of Cazenovia Zoning Board of Appeals
The legal notice in the November 1, 2017 edition of the Cazenovia Republican indicates that a public hearing will be held at 7 PM on Tuesday, November 7 to consider the appeal of Sphere Cazenovia LLC seeking relief from zoning regulations applicable for the VES-MU zoning district – Code sections 180-117 (F) (1) and 180-117 (F) (1) (c). According to the legal notice, Sphere proposes to erect two building mounted business identification signs at the Aldi store on Route 20 E (one is currently permitted) with heights of 9.5 feet (2 feet are currently allowed). The proposed two signs will be mounted on a building whose tops are 24 feet above ground level, which is four feet higher than the 20 feet the Code allows.
Several years ago, the Village began a lengthy process of reworking its regulations for signage. A number of public hearings were held with much community attention to signage types and size. At the time the revised regulations were approved, public concern was expressed that, under pressure from developers, the regulations would be amended to dismantle the carefully considered and accepted regulations. Assurances were given by village officials that the regulations would not be easily modified. Please refer to the public record on those discussions.
The Sphere Cazenovia request is unacceptable. The proposed heights of the building mounted signs far surpass the current two foot limitation and two signs exceed the one sign limit. Since the building is close to Route 20 it will be obvious that it is an Aldi store. Current regulations will suffice.
Codes and regulations are written and approved for good reason. Allowing the variances would severely and negatively alter the visual landscape along Route 20, something which the community has long valued and planned and worked to protect. Further, it would provide justifiable momentum for other commercial establishments to appeal for variances, several of which have been wisely denied since the new regulations were put in place.
We urge you to reject the proposed Sphere Cazenovia LLC variances. Sphere knew the rules before developing the parcel and it needs to respect and adhere to the will of the community now. Our Village regulations need to be enforced or they will lose their viability.
Thank you for your service.
Barbara and Tom Clarke
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.
Dec 12, 2017