Final site plan approval was granted for both the Seneca Way Apartments (to be located at 140 Seneca Way) and Fairfield Inn (to be located at 359 Elmira Road) at the meeting of the Planning and Development Board on Tuesday, October 25. After each resolution passed with minor additions and modifications, chairman of the board John Schroeder expressed how much the proposals had improved through the process.
Clearer pictures of the plans for the new Cornell Computer and Information Sciences Building (CIS) were brought before the board by the project's manager, John Keefe. While both the preliminary approval of the plans and the SEQR passed unanimously for the future ‘Gates Hall,’ as it is to be referred to by most, there were two points of the design that had members of the board concerned and which they asked be examined for the next meeting.
Concerns were raised over the landscaped design in the front of the building where slabs of stone are raised in step-like formations that are meant to imitate the formations within the surrounding gorges, according to Keefe. Board members expressed that in terms of risk management the formation would rate very high, being located on a college campus. Board member Tessa Rudan expressed the element of the design as “really risky,” and feared it would open up unintended consequences.
Chairman John Schroeder expressed concern that as part of the presented design, the Hoy pillars were moved against a wall, no longer serving their original intent as a gateway to Hoy Field. Both concerns are being evaluated for the next meeting with the board.
A sketch plan of the Johnson’s Boatyard Housing project was presented by board member John Synder, who is the lead architect on the project. The sketch included three phases of development- the first being a construction of around 20 townhouses beginning in 2012. The second and third phases include the construction of mixed use, residential and retail buildings on the section of the property closest to Willow Avenue. The mixed use buildings would be between 2-4 stories- a definite decision has not yet been made. The sketch was well received by the board.
In other business:
- A sketch plan of a proposed compact car parking lot for the staff of Alternatives Federal Credit Union, to be located at 634 West Seneca Street, was presented.
- A modified site plan review was considered for the Aurora Street Dwelling Circle.
- The board discussed an amendment to zoning procedures that would mandate the notification of property owners that would be affected by proposed zoning changes. There is currently no such requirement.