Here's a few articles about potential development in the Ithaca area. First, in Dryden about 10 miles outside Ithaca (where the the community college is located) is a decent sized project. Right now it's put on hold. From the Ithaca Journal:
Dryden planning board delays vote on development near high school
By Aaron Munzer •Correspondent • December 22, 2010, 8:20 pm
DRYDEN -- The village planning board postponed to Jan. 6 a vote on the proposed Poet's Landing subsidized low-income housing development.
The development would comprise 10 apartment buildings and a larger seniors' complex with a total of 144 units. It is proposed for a site at 111 Freeville Road, on 11 acres of a 45-acre parcel that includes wetlands across from Dryden High School.
Board members said during Tuesday's special meeting they need more time to assemble conditions for the developers, Rochester-based Conifer Realty, after concerns were raised about safety, flooding, traffic calming and other issues.
Board chairman Gene German said a flashing light will be installed on Freeville Road, a fenced stormwater pond will be dug, active wetlands will be maintained, and a school bus stop will be within the development for children's' safety.
But more than a dozen residents weren't convinced problems had been addressed.
"Traffic is a safety concern, and flooding is a real issue in town, but most of all it's the proximity to the school. There's a high correlation between poverty and social issues, and to gamble with our kids is not what I want to do," parent and resident Brad Rauch said.
John Caruso of developer representative Passero Associates said there will be on-site management who operate housing developments with strict rules.
Parent Paul Simonet said the location issue couldn't be resolved.
"The traffic when I'm dropping my kids off is horrendous already; cars are in and out all the time," he said.
Here's the link: http://www.theithacajournal.com/arti...363/-1/ARCHIVE
Here's one dealing with historic designation in the Town of Ithaca (not the city), also from the Ithaca Journal:
Ithaca town planning board endorses special historic designations
Measure aimed at allowing more uses for buildings
By Rachel Stern •firstname.lastname@example.org • December 22, 2010, 8:15 pm
A new zoning designation intended to allow new uses for certain historically significant buildings has won endorsement from the Town of Ithaca Planning Board, planning Director Jonathan Kanter said.
The designation, called a limited historic commercial floating zone, yielded several supportive comments at a Tuesday public hearing and then unanimous support from the board. The proposal will now go to the town board, which will hold a public hearing in early 2011.
A new floating zone will create a zone for properties that are of some historic significance, Kanter said. The process started about a year ago, when owners of the Hayts Chapel and Schoolhouse came to the town and indicated they had historic buildings in residential areas that could not be used for residential purposes any longer, Kanter said.
The owners were having trouble finding buyers who wanted to use the buildings for residential purposes. That got the town thinking about a new zone, Kanter said.
"This is a zone where properties of historic significance could be rezoned to new historic commercial designation and certain uses will be allowed that otherwise would not be," Kanter said.
That list includes restaurants, coffee shops, retail, museums, art studios and antique stores limited to 4,000 square feet, he said.
"Really the whole purpose is to help preserve significant historic places in the town, while also protecting the surrounding residential areas," Kanter said.
Once the new zone is in place, individual property owners would have to apply for the rezoning. There are three ways a property would be considered historically significant -- if it is listed on the state or national register of historic places; if it was determined eligible for such a listing; or if the property was identified by the town a few years ago as having historic significance.
In other business, board members continued to comb through the final environmental impact statement for the Holochuck Homes Subdivision proposed for a site behind the Museum of the Earth between Routes 96 and 89. Kanter said the statement will again be on the schedule for the board's Jan. 4 meeting.
The proposal involves building 106 town homes in a development with two entrances from Route 96. The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation proposed acquiring most of the eastern portion of the property to go along with the development of the future Black Diamond Trail.
Here's the link: http://www.theithacajournal.com/arti...362/-1/ARCHIVE
Finally, hope is still alive for a BJ's store in the Village of Lansing (mall & apartment complex area just outside of Ithaca). Again from the Ithaca Journal:
Developers ask Ithaca school board to reopen rejected deal for BJ's project
Board tables discussion until January
By Rachel Stern •email@example.com • December 22, 2010, 8:00 pm
When Tompkins County Industrial Development Agency and Ithaca Common Council member Dan Cogan, D-5th, cast the swing vote against the BJ's Wholesale Club store in the Village of Lansing on Dec. 13, he thought that was the end of it.
"I didn't anticipate that it would keep going. We already decided we do not want to have it happen," Cogan said.
The IDA board voted 4-3 to reject a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes incremental financing agreement for Arrowhead Ventures to develop a site next to the Shops at Ithaca Mall.
The agreement would have allowed Arrowhead to bring a BJ's Wholesale Club store, senior housing and a created wetland to the site.
On Tuesday night, mall developer Eric Goetzmann and project adviser Andrew Sussman tried to get the Ithaca City School District Board of Education to vote in favor of the project as one of the four affected taxing entities -- along with the county, the village and the Town of Lansing. The other entities voted in favor, Cogan said.
The deal would have lasted 20 years, and for five years, all increased property taxes on the BJ's site and half of the new taxes on the housing would be diverted from the county, the village and the ICSD and used to finance the housing. The tax abatement would decline by 5 percent each year.
Sussman told the board the project still can happen.
"The IDA does not hold the final trump card. If all four taxing entities vote in favor of this, there are processes to explore to try and make this project successful," Sussman said.
In a 6-2 vote, the board decided to table the discussion until meeting Jan. 11.
"We need more details on what the possible deal is and who the issuing authority may be and then we can vote on the merits," board President Rob Ainslie said.
Board members said they were bothered to have not been included until now and that the school district does not stand to gain much, as it does not get sales tax revenue.
Board member Brad Grainger was not even sure why the item was on the agenda. "Is this just about symbolism? The IDA turned it down, so why do we want to go out there and support a process I disagree with?" Grainger said.
Both board member Jay True and vice president Seth Peacock opposed tabling the discussion because they saw potential benefits.
And the link: http://www.theithacajournal.com/arti...361/-1/ARCHIVE