LANSING, N.Y. — It’ll be a busy Monday night for the town of Lansing’s Planning Board. The board will be looking at a pair of rental townhouse duplex projects, and an adaptive building reuse for “salon suite rentals, tanning, restaurant and bar”.

2073 East Shore Drive

In a previous life, 2073 East Shore Drive was a small indy grocery, Egan’s IGA. More recently, the rather worn-down 9,310 square-foot building has served as the home for the local ladies’ roller derby, the Ithaca League of Women Rollers. According to property records, the building has been owned since 2002 by former Lansing town supervisor A. Scott Pinney.

A proposal from applicant Kathryn Sherman of Autumn Ridge Properties LLC proposes to add a new chapter to the near 50 year-old building’s story by converting it into the rather unusual mix of a tanning and salon spa with a restaurant and bar. Plans from local architect Claudia Brenner show that the building would get a makeover as well, with new doors, window cutouts, and a “gut” renovation of the interior to accommodate the new businesses.

A floor plan shows the businesses would be separated from each other, so presumably no one’s salon experience will be ruined by the smell of food cooking. The restaurant would be on the north side (left in the image above) and about 2,500 square feet in size, with seating for about 75 if one includes the full-service bar. Also included are seven tanning rooms and eight salon suites alongside a reception area. Additional tenant space, built around an interior court, is not identified for use; it would appear that the layout bears more similarity to mixed-use interior market arcades, with tenants clustered under one roof and shared courtyard and halls than a traditional commercial building.

The plan to be reviewed Monday night is a sketch plan to feel out the board’s take on the project and any suggested changes or concerns they might have. The project complies with the town zoning for the property, and for renovations, the review process is typically much simpler than it is for new builds.

A site plan of the Britton Woods subdivision.

More housing planned

Also on the agenda Monday night are a pair of townhouse project. First off will be the “Britton Woods” subdivision off of Triphammer Road. This project first came up back in April, and after going dormant for a few months local homebuilders Wayne and Scotty Britton are ready to continue forward with the review process, seeking the town’s consent to be Lead Agency for the State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR), where potential environmental or community are identified and mitigations are made or agreed to as conditions for project approval.

The cluster-style housing development planned is for North Triphammer Road between Asbury Road and Franklyn Drive. The 9.7-acre vacant parcel was purchased by local homebuilders the Brittons in September 2017. Ten one-story two-bedroom homes would be built on the parcel along a circular cul-de-sac. Each home would be 1,140 square feet and have two parking spaces. The development would including stormwater retention areas and a 24-foot x 36-foot maintenance building.

390 Peruville Road site plan.

The other housing proposal is a blast from the past. 390 Peruville Road, also from former town supervisor A. Scott Pinney, was originally approved by the town planning board in November 2016. The project calls for 15 duplexes (30 units) on a gravel road, each two bedrooms and 784 square feet per unit/1568 square feet per duplex. The 38-acre property already hosts four duplexes built earlier and a contractor’s office and storage yard.

The residential development never moved forward. The town gives a three-year window for building permits to be issued, and if a project does not begin construction, the approvals expire and the developer must once again seek permission from the planning board. The rule is fairly standard among municipalities to ensure that, if priorities change for the town or legal standards change, that someone can’t come along and revive some long-dead project with a 20-year-old design and move ahead with it. In most communities the window is three years, except in Ithaca city where the window to start construction is only two years.

According to a letter provided to the board by Pinney, “(d)ue to some personal and financial difficulties over the past three years, I have been unable to start building these. These difficulties have been resolved and I’m ready to move forward on this project. I currently have submitted stamped drawings and a building permit for the buildings and I’m looking to being those (sic) this winter with the first building to be completed in the summer of 2020.”

Generally, unless there was a major change in legal code of the town’s comprehensive plan (neither of which have been the case in this instance), reapprovals of unchanged plans are fairly simple and smooth processes. The planning board agenda simply states “Review of Expires Site Plan”, which suggests that final site plan approval might have to wait until January.

Brian Crandall

Brian Crandall reports on housing and development for the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached at bcrandall@ithacavoice.com.