Editor’s Note: The following is a letter to the editor submitted by several Danby residents, in response to a recent letter published by The Voice.

As always, we welcome alternative or dissenting viewpoints. To submit one, contact me at msmith@ithacavoice.com

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In response to the recent letter in Ithaca Voice from David Hall about the proposed rezoning law for PDZ 10 (Planned Development Zone 10), we would like to provide additional information that will demonstrate why we have very serious concerns.

The proposed law is not consistent with the town’s comprehensive plan. Section 3 of the plan deals with economic issues.

– Introduction: encourage “home-based businesses and cottage industries” as well as “Community-oriented, small-scale businesses and services with low impact relative to neighborhoods”.

– Objective C3.3: “Restrict traffic-generating business development in Danby to the areas of the Central and West Danby hamlets, strengthening them as traditional centers of commerce.” (The hamlets are located on the main state highways (96B, 96 and 13) in the town of Danby.)

The proposed rezoning law for PDZ 10 allows for a large scale operation with a high impact on the neighborhood. And PDZ 10 is not located in (or near) the hamlets of Danby.

When the existing zoning law that created PDZ 10 was written in the early nineties, it was based on a plan, by the owner of the property, to hire about 20 employees to make clothes. There was widespread agreement that this was appropriate and welcome. The actual zoning law that was approved restricted the use to manufacturing clothing but, unfortunately, it did not include any limitations on the size of the operation.

Over time the actual operation increased to 70 employees, well beyond the initial plan. It is highly unlikely that such a large operation would have been considered appropriate. And it is highly unlikely that a law to create PDZ 10 would have been approved for such a large operation.The existing law allows PDZ 10 to operate a business that hires employees to make clothing.

The proposed rezoning law allows for many, many different businesses/operations that would hire employees (up to 65 based on the current owner’s expectations) but, in addition, allow an unlimited number of clients, customers and patients. The resulting traffic impact would be enormous and well beyond anything previously experienced in the neighborhood.

Most everyone is now aware that water is an extremely important asset. A recent water study by the New York Rural Water Association prepared for the town of Danby noted that the hill where PDZ10 is located has serious water issues. In fact, it has the second lowest water table in the town of Danby.

Many uses that would be allowed by the proposed law have the potential to greatly increase the demands for water from the neighborhood. Protecting that resource for the entire neighborhood is of utmost importance.

The proposed law to rezone PDZ 10 is not consistent with the town’s comprehensive plan and would allow activities that would have a significant impact on several neighborhoods. We do not support the proposed law.

From:

Pat Woodworth, Charles Tilton – 305 Gunderman Rd, Danby

Linda and Ed Fetherbay – 334 Gunderman Rd, Danby

Frank Darrow – 400 Gunderman Rd, Danby

Naomi and Bob Strichartz, 708 Comfort Rd, Danby

http://ithacavoice.wpengine.com/2016/03/letter-danby-businessman-defends-project/

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Michael Smith

Michael Smith reports on politics and local news for the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached via email at msmith@ithacavoice.com, by cell at (607) 229-0885, or via Google Voice at (518) 650-3639.