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Some thoughts on the proposed Western Gateway zoning law by a member of the legislative committee

GUEST COLUMN

I have served on the committee that put together the proposed “Village Gateway West” zoning legislation (along with representatives from the village board, village planning board, historic preservation committee and CPF). In addition, I served on the town board during development of the joint Comprehensive Plan.

Public comments on the proposed Village Gateway West zone have resulted in a much clearer and better law, now incorporating changes which attempt to alleviate many of the concerns that have been expressed — including noise, parking, protection of the lake, construction of new buildings, expansion of existing buildings and protection of historic character. I encourage everyone to take a look at the most recent draft on the village website.

Despite the revisions to the draft law, certain issues continue to be raised at the extended public hearing. Here are my thoughts on some of these:

—Ledyard Avenue is a “residential area” in the sense that there are houses on both sides, but it is not a residential street like Lincklaen or Sullivan. This is a state highway, speed limit 45 mph, four lanes, no one is sitting on their porches, children are not playing on the sidewalks.

—This is already a “mixed use” area — there have been no problems with the Caz Club, the Brewster Inn, or 5 Ledyard, which operated as a business for 30 years; not to mention Lorenzo and all its activities.

—The most important goal in preserving this beautiful “entry” to Cazenovia is, thus, preserving the historic properties — the structures, the landscaping, and the views of and from the lake — to the highest degree possible. This law broadens the opportunities for uses and ownership of 5 properties (by my count) which are currently single-family homes, and thus increases the likelihood of tasteful, appropriate historic preservation.

—In that context, it should be noted that any alterations to building exteriors or to landscaping will need to be approved by the Planning Board and, since Ledyard Avenue is in the Historic District, by the recently strengthened Historic Preservation Committee.

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