The Lansing village board of trustees passed Local Law 7 of 2014 at its Dec. 1 meeting, amending the zoning code where it affects the Lansing Meadows PDA (Planned Development Area), the development best known as the location of the BJ’s wholesale foods store.

Eric Goetzmann, spokesperson for Arrowhead Ventures, had requested the change in the village’s October meeting. The zoning law requires a residential parcel to have 75 feet of road frontage, but the commercial, residential, and wetland parts of the PDA have been altered. Goetzmann explained that the change would allow them to increase the density of the housing on the parcel. Village attorney David Dubow said that if the board of trustees deemed this a “minor change” the next step would be to send it to the planning board. “The goal is to take the commercial side down as small as we can,” said Goetzmann.

The planning board duly reviewed the change, okayed it, and sent it back to the village. After a brief run-through of the State Environmental Quality Review, in which the trustees affirmed a lack of environmental impact by the law change, they passed the law.

Catherwood Road is on track to belong to the village of Lansing, at long last. Mayor Don Hartill commented affably that the change of ownership has been wanted since 1973, when Pyramid Mall was built. “We did find some records going back that the Town owned that road,” said Hartill. It currently belongs to NYS and is under the Department of Transportation. “Once the village owns that road it will have some obligations, but also some opportunities to improve the road.” The unfinished sidewalks and lack of regular maintenance have long been a thorn in the village’s side.

Although neither Graham Road nor Pyramid Drive belong to the DOT, “when Pyramid was set up, for some reason the DOT owned Catherwood,” said Hartill. “The state manages the traffic lights… they’re controlled from Syracuse.”

“And Syracuse is another world away from here,” said trustee John O’Neill.

“But they are controlled electronically,” said Hartill. “They also control the lights on Route 13, which is why sometimes you can’t get through (Ithaca). The problem is the City of Ithaca controls the lights on the roads that feed into them. There is some effort to get all the traffic lights under one system. Maybe in my lifetime.”

During the Mayor’s comments, Hartill visited the project to get a new water pipe dug underneath Rt. 13. This project involves the Bolton Point Water Commission and several municipalities, which are sharing the cost. “The village has saved around $200,00 and Bolton Point has saved upwards of $200,00 by doing this cooperatively,” said Hartill. “As soon as we secure the easement (from DOT) we can proceed.”

In other road news, NorWay- the connector from Bomax Drive to Janivar- will be getting signage to prevent people from cutting through. “It’s a nice road but rather icy,” said Hartill. “If there’s no signage, people will drive on it. If they skid off into a ditch, there’s no way we’re not liable. It struck me as being a rather dangerous situation for everybody.”

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