Public Hearing, Shodeen Project — Again

Update: The Plan Commission did not approve point  “5. The project design provides for safe and efficient provision of public services. Finding: The project would increase the amount of public parking in the downtown and reduce the deficit of all parking in the vicinity.” They voted 3-3, a tie when a majority was needed to pass, but everything else passed, as did the project overall. The Commission really had their hands tied because the Council had already changed the zoning requirements for this project, so of course the project would meet the new requirements. The Council did away with height and mass restrictions and parking requirements, rendering the Commission’s job pretty much one of picking colors and materials. The Commission is advisory only, and the Council can and has overridden the Plan Commission’s concerns. Frankly, it was surprising  point 5 was even offered for the Plan Commission’s consideration. 

Tonight, Wednesday, 7:00pm, is a public hearing before the Plan Commission for Shodeen’s 1 N Washington apartment complex. The meeting is virtual, so you can attend from the comfort of your own home. Agenda with documents and instructions on how to attend can be found here:  https://www.cityofbatavia.net/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/_07012020-1572?html=true

The Plan Commission voted against the project initially, but was overruled by the City Council. There’s not really anything they can do, because the City Council will push it through no matter what. But if you comment during the public hearing, the Council won’t be able to say later, “No citizens objected.”

To get the support of a majority of the aldermen (9 of the 14), Shodeen had to put the retail back on Wilson St.  What Shodeen before claimed was not financially feasible, has suddenly become feasible again. The new plan calls for 14,180 sq ft of retail space on the ground floor portions of the development on Wilson and River Streets, 2,370 sq ft of office space above the retail along River, 91 2-br apartments, 95 1-br apartments, and just 333 parking spaces in the “public” parking garage the City will issue $16 million in bonds to build.

If you read the agenda document, you will see what the Plan Commission is to rule on.

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