Upcoming . . .


City Land Use Public Workshop:

Come give us your input on what the City of Ithaca should look like in the future!

On Tuesday, April 29th, 2014, the City of Ithaca’s Comprehensive Plan Committee will be hosting a workshop on future land use in the city. There will be two opportunities for input. The first session will be from 3:45-5:30 p.m. and the second session will be from 6:15-8:00 p.m., in City Hall, Common Council Chambers, Third Floor, 108 E. Green Street (across the street from the Tompkins County Public Library).

The Committee will present its recommendations on neighborhood preservation and future growth. Your comments on these ideas will be incorporated into the land use chapter of the City’s new Comprehensive Plan. For more information, visit the Comprehensive Plan,

To sign up for a workshop, please RSVP for one of the sessions using one of the links below, or contact the Department of Planning, Building, Zoning, & Economic Development at 274-6550.

We very much hope you can join us!

NOTE: If you have a disability and you would like specific accommodations of any kind in order to participate, please contact the City Clerk at 274 6570 by 12:00 p.m. on the day before the meeting.
Charles Pyott
Office Assistant
Division of Planning & Economic Development
Department of Planning, Building, & Economic Development
108 E. Green Street, Third Floor
City of Ithaca
Ithaca, New York 14850
Tel: (607) 274-6550
Fax: (607) 274-6558
Office Hours: 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., M-F

West Hill Cleanup Day

Greetings fellow West Hillers,

This year’s West Hill Clean-up will take place the morning of Saturday, April 26. This can be a really enjoyable day with neighbors; do pitch in.

The trash bags get set out the night before (Friday), or at the crack of dawn on the 26th. Generally there is a flag at each of the spots, which are spread all over West Hill.  One is at the bottom of Elm Street, one is at the corner of Hook and Warren Place.  There are a couple on Hector Street, a couple on Warren, one or two on Cliff and Campbell and on Oakwood. I don’t remember where all the spots are.  Ray Schlather does that part, generally. There will be a bag / collection spot near just about everyone. You can tell where they are by looking for them.  You’ll see them.
After you fill as many bags as you want, you return them to the spot where you got them.  Then Ray Schlather, myself, and others drive around in a truck and trailer and pick everything up and take it to the dump, beginning shortly after noon.
The City pays the tipping fee.  We record how much we collect in pounds, maybe tons.  The more trash we collect, the better.  If we collect a lot, we get to brag about it to our friends from other neighborhoods at fancy cocktail parties.
If people would like to sign-up for a specific neighborhood, that probably will help us to cover a more complete area.  You can also work solo, or with your children, whatever.
I think Ray will probably chime in later this week with more specifics, if that is needed.

Remember, please, that this is NOT clear-out the junk you’ve accumulated in your garage and basement day. We are collecting the “wild ” trash that can be found outdoors on West Hill.

Sadly, we have seen a decline in participation for this neighborhood undertaking in recent years. We particularly could use more help with “heavy lifting” trash, stuff like shopping carts that have found their way into the gullies on lower West Hill.

This is hard work, but when a number of people pitch in together, it can be fun.

There is no sign-up for this required, but if you would like to help with some of the heavy lifting and hauling, please drop me a line.

George McGonigal
tel: 272-0639

Annual Street Cleaning Program

During the next month — March 31-April 28 — city crews will be cleaning the streets, making it necessary that no cars be parked on the street when crews arrive. They will post signs in the blocks to be cleaned at least 24 hours in advance, so be alert for their appearance. While there is a day-by-day schedule for streets east of the Inlet, our West Hill cleaning will be announced only by the appearance of on-street signs.

Below, the city’s press release: Continue reading Annual Street Cleaning Program

Statement to Tompkins Co Legislature

Statement at the Tompkins County Legislature – 02/18/2014

Good evening. My name is Sophie Zapala and I am a resident of West Hill.

I am here tonight to present several important and pressing issues to you.

October 1, 2013, has been etched in the collective memory of all the residents on West Hill. It is the day on which this body decided to sell the Biggs property to NRP Properties LLC, a private investment firm headquartered in Cleveland, OH, without performing a complete New York State-mandated environmental impact analysis – in face of almost unanimous opposition from the concerned residents of West Hill. That day should be etched in your memories, too. Continue reading Statement to Tompkins Co Legislature

Safety Message

Press Release / Safety Message

Agency:               Ithaca Fire Department
Date:                    Friday, February 22, 2014
Time:                   8:30 pm.
Location:             310 West Green Street, Ithaca
Incident:                            Ice / Gorge Safety
Contact Person:   Lieutenant Thomas T. Basher Jr.   Public Information Officer

Fax (607) 272-2793,  Cell (607) 227-5001, TBasher@CityofIthaca.org

Stay Off The Ice

Ithaca’s gorges are spectacular all year long, but they are equally dangerous as well. As the weather starts to improve and we venture out, the Ithaca Fire Department reminds everyone to exercise extreme caution in our area gorges.

  • • Stay on designated trails only
  • • Do not cross over fence lines
  • • Adhere to all posted signage and warnings of danger
  • • It is illegal to swim in the gorges

On Friday, Ithaca Rescue crews were called to the base of Ithaca Falls for people in distress in the ice and water.  They were able to get out on their own and had left the scene prior to emergency responders arrival. They were lucky.  It could have easily been a tragic outcome.

Ice jam/flooding update

Message:Ice Jam / Flooding Update
Contact Person:Lieutenant Thomas T. Basher Jr.   Public Information Officer
Fax 272-2793,  Cell 227-5001,TBasher@CityofIthaca.org

 Ice Jam and Flooding Update for the City of Ithaca

A State of Emergency in the City of Ithaca continues until Sunday and the City’s Emergency Operations Center will remain open throughout the weekend.

 Weather Update-

Today’s snow, although inconvenient, has not added to the flooding and icing problems in the City. The snow had a very low water content and should not be a contributing factor in the flooding. However, temperatures should rise above freezing this afternoon and get into the 40’s tonight with winds of 15 mph.

Most of the snow on the ground should melt over the next day Continue reading Ice jam/flooding update

Heating with wood

With the drop in temperatures, many of us are turning to our fireplaces and wood stoves for heat and comfort.  If you are like me, you may have been building fires for years without realizing that wood heat – if not done properly – can be inefficient and wasteful, and lead to excessive smoke which negatively impacts the environment and neighbors.   I wanted to share with you details of a workshop to help you use your wood stove safely, effectively and cleanly.  You can also refer to their website http://ccetompkins.org/energy/heating-wood for additional information and resources.   ~C Brock

Learn to Burn: the Heating with Wood Workshop — Saturday, 1/11/14

Learn to Burn: the Heating with Wood WorkshopIf you now heat with firewood or pellets, or if you’re interested in moving over to this renewable energy source, this seminar is for you. Come learn about buying and drying firewood, best burn practices, proper maintenance of wood stoves, and an overview of the latest high-efficiency technology now available. Everyone is entered for a chance to win a moisture meter! RSVP: 607-272-2292 so we can contact you in case of weather-related cancellation. Continue reading Heating with wood

Tackling Sidewalks


The City’s new system to fund the repair and expansion of our sidewalks uses a modest annual assessment of all properties. Everyone will chip in for this public amenity, and no longer will individual property owners be saddled with sudden huge costs to build or repair the bit of sidewalk system which happens to be along their own property. Rather than arguing over whether any sidewalk work should be done, we can now discuss where it will be done. Funds from within each of five Sidewalk Improvement Districts (SIDs) will pay City crews to work on sidewalks within that district. The Board of Public Works will take public input and decide before the construction season what sidewalk work to do in each district each year.


We should start now to look at the needs of our district, for repair or for extension of the sidewalk system. All of West Hill in the City is within SID 5, which also includes Inlet Island and the West End, bounded by Cascadilla Creek on the north, Meadow Street on the east, and Malone Drive on the south. Continue reading Tackling Sidewalks

West Hill Emerging

As many of you know, a Cornell landscape architecture class has taken on West Hill as a project. With input from the residents, the students are applying their skills to revisioning our neighborhood. A copy of the course  syllabus is at Sylabus (under “DOCUMENTS, above).

Their stated goals are (from their website, Many Voices, One Hill):

  1. To collaborate with the residents of West Hill and the Town of Ithaca, and gather the communities’ input in order to create an open space plan for West Hill.
  2. To then develop and share our visions for open space with the community, which may in turn serve as guides for the future.

In our designs we aspire to preserve West Hill’s character, beauty and community values, while giving residents access to new resources and amenities.

Prof. Oles writes:

I think at this point the students are energized to produce something that will truly be of use to both planners and the citizens of West Hill. I am excited about the final product and look forward to sharing it with you.
     In the meantime however, I want to emphasize that you or anyone else who is interested in the future of West Hill (whether Town or City) are very much welcome at our interim reviews—see the events part of the website for details. Perhaps you would like to stop by for either Book Layout Presentation 1 (15 November 1.30 pm) or Book Layout Presentation 2 (22 November 1.30 pm)? Your feedback would be invaluable as always!

When can we meet?

From time to time, it’s good for neighbors to get together — to share problems, discuss solutions, organize activities, or just to say hi. We know that people’s schedules vary and it’s impossible to suit everyone. With this little poll of “best times” we hope to find the time that most people have free. The poll is vague — morning, midday, or evening; so, if you have particular constraints or suggestions, please leave a comment at the bottom of this page. Thanks for participating!

Check all times that are good for you

What's your best time for a West Hill meeting?

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