Update: The COW passed the zoning changes 7-6 (1 previous NO vote absent). However, soil contamination has been found at the site. Lead and “odor of petroleum” were mentioned. The contamination is thought to be expensive to remediate. The City must sit down with Shodeen to discuss it. There is the potential it could kill the deal.
The massive Shodeen apartment complex is on Tuesday’s (5/15) City Council Committee of the Whole (COW) agenda, 7pm.
The Plan Commission approved the changes, so now it’s going to the Tuesday night COW for discussion and preliminary vote before it goes to a Monday night Council for final approval. Agenda here: https://www.cityofbatavia.net/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/_05152018-1198?html=true
The Plan Commission was given very limited scope to consider. They could not talk about the size or the traffic or pretty much anything but colors and materials, because the Council said so. The Plan Commission recommended citizens take their comments and concerns to the Council.
So Tuesday will be your chance to speak up. What started out as a 13-1 vote of the Council in favor of the project, became a 7-7 vote with the Mayor’s YES vote breaking the tie to push the project forward when the plan was changed, with apartments instead of retail at ground level on Wilson. If you can convince 1 more Alderman or the Mayor that this is a bad idea, not suited for downtown, then maybe the door could be opened for other ideas from other developers.
An interesting additional item on the agenda is discussion of parking configuration on State Street for this project. Apparently, keeping parking similar to as it is could cause problems, so the recommendation is to remove the parallel parking on the south side of the street, leaving even less parking downtown.
If you can’t make the meeting, you can email the aldermen and Mayor using the Contact button at right.
Traffic on Wilson is already bad and more apartments will make it worse causing more people to avoid Wilson altogether and choose another route hurting downtown businesses. Until we get another street to have a bridge built over the river this problem will remain.