Upcoming . . .


First Ward Update

Dear fellow First Warders

Greetings.  I hope the new year is treating you well so far.
I am checking in to provide a brief and by no means comprehensive update about what is going on around town and in the First Ward…
    A meeting for residents of the Stone Quarry / Spencer Rd. / South Meadow St. neighborhood will convene soon to discuss potential traffic calming and re-alignment options.  The meeting is tentatively set for February 11th, at 6 pm at the church on South Meadow St.  City traffic engineers and Common Council reps will be there.
I will let everyone know as soon as the time and place is confirmed.
On the west side of the First Ward, a number of changes, large and small, are in the works.
Two vacant houses on Cliff St., 235 and 207, are going to be torn down. It is not known what will rise in their place.
There are plans moving forward to replace and perhaps relocate the Brindley St. bridge, and to realign Brindley St. itself.  Public outreach is planned for the near future but has not yet been scheduled.
Traffic patterns on West State St./ MLK Jr. St are also being studied for a possible change that would reduce the number of lanes for automobiles from 4 to 3, and widen the space for pedestrians and bicycles.  This potential project will also seek plenty of public input.  Dates and times for the first meetings will be announced soon.
On South Hill, I suspect that many residents are talking about the fact that Campus Advantage has apparently withdrawn its revised, scaled-down proposal for the Trebloc site at the east end of the Commons.
I am curious to know what people think about this turn of events.  I am also wondering how people feel about the possibility of re-examining the zoning for this area.  If residents do not want a future project that is of the same scale and height as the initial Campus Advantage proposal, then the only way to avoid this likely possibility may be to change aspects of how it is zoned.
What do you think?
That’s all I’ve got for now.  More detail later.  Please feel free to contact me at this e-mail address or on the phone at 272-0639.  Have a good one.
George McG
George McGonigal
Common Council, First Ward
tel: 272-0639

Town Planning Board Meeting

Shirley A. Raffensperger Board Room, Town Hall
215 North Tioga Street
Ithaca, New York 14850

Tuesday, January 5, 2016


7:00 P.M. SEQR Determination: Crown Castle / Verizon Wireless Telecommunication Facility, Mecklenburg Road.

7:00 P.M. PUBLIC HEARING: Consideration of Preliminary and Final Site Plan Approval and Special Permit for a new telecommunication facility located on the north side of Mecklenburg Road across from 1335 Mecklenburg Road, Town of Ithaca Tax Parcel No. 27.-1-15.2, Agricultural Zone. The proposal involves the construction of a 105’ +/- monopole tower with 12 panel antennas, a 360 +/- square foot equipment shelter, a 60’ x 60’ +/- chain link fenced area, a 1,250’ +/- gravel access road, and landscaping. Rancich Family Limited Partnership, Owner; Crown Castle & Verizon Wireless, Applicants; Jeffrey W. Davis, Barclay Damon, Agent.

3. Persons to be heard

4. Approval of Minutes: December 1, 2015 and December 15, 2015

5. Other Business

6. Adjournment
Susan Ritter
Director of Planning

(A quorum of four (4) members is necessary to conduct Planning Board business.)

Accessing Meeting Materials Online
Site Plan and Subdivision applications and associated project materials are accessible electronically on the Town’s website under “Planning Board” on the “Meeting Agendas” page (http://www.town.ithaca.ny.us/meeting-agendas

Stolen bike, IHS

Stolen bikeI am sad to say my son’s bike was stolen Friday evening from Ithaca High School while he was there at an event.

FUJI Newest 2.0 Road Bike, frame 46 cm. Grey & black.

If you happen to see it anywhere or see it for sale, please contact me. We filed a police report Saturday morning.

Vikki Armstrong

Use of Inlet Island for boat parking

The following comes from Cynthia Brock, 1st Ward alderperson; she refers to the item on pp 29-31 of the agenda of the 9/11/15 BPW meeting. That item is available here as a PDF (two letters explaining things plus a drawing of the parking lot): Boat Parking BPW Agenda.

A recent proposal has come to the Board of Public Works requesting the use of the gravel parking lot on Inlet Island for winter boat storage for up to 100 boats (25 boats seems the most likely).

I have concerns with regards to this proposal, and have requested the BPW to hold off on its decision so that community members can provide input.

While I recognize the significant positive impact that the boating community has to our local culture and economy, I have strong reservations with regards to the impacts this will have.  It is my position that allowing long-term winter boat storage on the Inlet Island gravel parking lot will negatively affect the view shed of Inlet Island from Cliff Street, Taughannock Blvd., and Cass Park/Waterfront Trail, and will also create an industrial, cavernous feel to areas immediately adjacent to restaurants and shops who are striving to create a welcoming recreational environment.

The agenda for tonight’s BPW meeting was posted on Friday the 11th and a link to the relevant pages is at the top of this post.

Please share your thoughts with me, George and the BPW by emailing us at cbrock@cityofithaca.org, gmcgonigal@cityofithaca.org, and bpw@cityofithaca.org.
Thank you,

Cynthia Brock
First Ward Alderperson, City of Ithaca

Cat looking for home

runningcatThis cat seems to have moved into the space below our porch (on Cliff Street, on West Hill) a couple weeks ago. At first, we only saw an orange streak as it ran for cover. Then, it would stop at a distance and watch us for a while before disappearing again. But, the last few days, it’s been meowing at us through the door’s window and pretty clearly indicating it’s ready to take up a more permanent and comfortable residence.

My message to the West Hill email list got no response, so I assume it’s not the beloved of anyone in our neighborhood. I’m still open to hearing from someone that it’s their cat, but not very hopeful. If you know of other Ithaca email lists, maybe you’d forward the info to them.

sittingcatMeanwhile, would someone like to adopt this very lovable-seeming cat? It’s not always out in view, but I don’t think you’d have much trouble getting it to come along.

You can email (aozolins at ithaca dot edu) or phone (592 0780) with info or questions.

City Hall at LACS

Svante Myrick in conversation with Jeff Stein (in black), the person behind "Ithaca Voice," and a city hall intern.

Svante Myrick in conversation with Jeff Stein (in black), the person behind “Ithaca Voice,” and a city hall intern.

The first “City Hall in Your Neighborhood” on West Hill was held tonight, March 26, in the gymnasium of the Lehman Alternative Community School. Representatives from about 1o city departments showed up — planning, city attorney, fire, police, DPW, etc — with representatives ready to talk about their work, the city, and anything else on the minds of West Hill residents. I had some great chats with several of them, and Mayor Svante Myrick was there, ready to spend time with people.

The best thing, from my perspective, about the evening was the relaxed comfort with which everyone was interacting. The not-so-good thing was that so few of West Hill’s residents came to take part. I  hope that the city hall folks won’t write us off; I hope they’ll come back to offer us this kind of access again. And, I hope that when they do, the LACS gym will be crowded to capacity.


Indian Creek Woods status

There will be an update of the county’s plans for the Indian Creek Woods presented by County Planning Commissioner Ed Marx at the Government Operations Committee meeting on Tuesday, March 24 at 3:30 p.m. at the legislative chambers at 121 E. Court St. He will report on the “Status of County Property on Harris B. Dates Drive.”

The agenda allots a short amount of time for public comment at 3:35. Marx’s report is first on the agenda, at approx. 3:45 p.m. You can see the meeting agenda. The agenda packet does not give any advance information about the content of the Planning Department report.

Though the meeting is being held at an inconvenient time for many people, please join us if you can to show the county legislators that people in the West Hill area are committed to play a role in development plans for our area.

Thanks for your ongoing interest.

Indian Creek Neighborhood Association

City Hall in Your Neighborhood

Next week, city staff will begin a series of visits to neighborhood schools and gathering places in Ithaca.  The Mayor’s Office is calling it “City Hall in Your Neighborhood”.

These job fair style events will provide community members the opportunity to engage with staff members of different departments to meet and learn more about their city government.

Two evenings next week have been scheduled for this event:

  • Wednesday, March 25th from 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm in the Belle Sherman Elementary School cafeteria
  • Thursday, March 26th from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm in the Lehman Alternative Community School gymnasium

Additional events will be scheduled for May.

Please contact Kevin Sutherland, Chief of Staff at ksutherland@cityofithaca.org or 607-274-6512 with any questions.

FYI — west hill project

From: Cynthia Brock <cynthia.ny8@gmail.com>
Subject: Fwd: Subdivision on Campbell and Hector

?Hi all,
I try to keep everyone abreast of zoning, building and development activities occurring in the First Ward.  There is a minor subdivision planned for West Hill (one property split into two properties), and I wanted to pass it on.?  Please see below for details and links to information and upcoming meetings.
Cynthia Brock, Alderperson, First Ward
607 398-0883
Project Review Committee Meeting Agenda: Tuesday, March 17, 20159:30
Project:     Minor Subdivision
Location:    104 Campbell Ave., Tax Parcel #19.-2-4
Applicant:    John & Anne Marie Cummings
Anticipated Board Action(s) in March:  Declaration of Lead Agency, Public Hearing, Determination of Environmental Significance, and Preliminary & Final Subdivision Approval

Project Description:  The applicant proposes to subdivide the 0.513-acre (22,347SF) parcel into two lots: Parcel A, measuring 0.243 acres (10,581 SF) with 110 feet of street frontage on Campbell Ave.; and Parcel 2, measuring 0.27 acres (11,766 SF) with 97 feet of street frontage on Hector St. and 93.2 feet of street frontage on Campbell Ave., and containing an existing single-family home.  The property is in the R-1a Zoning District, which has the following minimum area requirements: 10,000 SF lot size, 75 feet of street frontage, 25-foot front yard and 10-foot side yard setbacks, and a rear yard setback of 50 feet or 25%, but no less than 20 feet.  This is an Unlisted Action under the City of Ithaca Environmental Quality Review Ordinance and the State Environmental Quality Review Act, and is subject to environmental review.

LACS Class brainstorms West Hill

Students in the Service Class at LACS (Lehman Alternative Community School) are hosting a dinner on Monday, November 10, at the school at 6:00 p.m.  It will be a brainstorming session to hear about how LACS could be a resource to the West Hill community.  Childcare will be provided and the students will facilitate the gathering.

We hope you are able to come to enjoy a meal, share your ideas, and meet others in the community.

If you have questions, please email Jon Raimon at  jraimon@icsd.k12.ny.us or call 274-2183.

The Service class does a variety of projects in Ithaca each year, from working with the Food Bank to helping mentor younger students. But with this meeting we are simply trying to facilitate a brainstorming session to hear what kinds of ways the students at the school and the school itself might be of use to the West Hill community. Whether the ideas will work out, we don’t know. But I know my Service Class students would like to be of use and I imagine other students in the school might like to get involved in the West Hill community, too. We have helped with some of the community cafe sessions (with Ms. Michelle Mills) before and assisted with the 4H after school program, but we thought we ought to hear about other ways the school / students might be of use, too.