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Local News

April 15, 2014

City planners to review downtown proposals

Downtown economic development and a proposal to build an addition to Advance Auto Parts will be addressed at the Oneonta Planning Commission meeting on Wednesday night.

The city is initiating Focus for the Future — A Main Street Oneonta Economic Development Study, and the Planning Commission will declare itself lead agency for the environmental review of the project, according to the agenda.

Jeff House, acting community development director of the city, will present a short environmental impact form for the project.

In March, the Main Street Oneonta Economic Development Study was awarded $75,000 by the state Empire Development Corp., an amount to be matched with an equal amount by the city, House said. The goal is to plan for “a sustainable economic strategy for downtown by concentrating on its assets” with a focus on the Main Street/Market Street corridor, he said in a project description.

The phase to be consider by the commission Wednesday night is planning without any environmental impacts expected, House said. If the city later decides on activities recommended by the study, a separate environmental review may take place, he said.

House said the next step in the project will be a request for proposals to conduct the study, House said, and the overall study may be completed in six months to a year. The Downtown Streetscape project, recently adopted by the Common Council as a guide, is a separate document focusing on public aesthetics, such as lighting, he said.

The commission meeting will be in Common Council Chambers at City Hall, 258 Main St., at 7 p.m.

Also, planners will hold a sketch plan conference for a proposal by Eugene A. Bettiol St., to add a 4,882 square-foot addition onto the back of the Advance Auto Parts building at 368 Main St. The addition will be used for warehouse space, according to an Oneonta Code Enforcement Office memo.

The proposed construction would increase the amount of impervious surface on the lot, code officials said, and the office recommends that some of the parking spaces in the front of the property be removed to create green space. 

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