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Proposed changes to Fayetteville zoning code leave residents concerned

— A proposed amendment to a zoning chapter in the village of Fayetteville could change the rules that outline who can operate a business out of some of the village’s oldest homes.

Residents Bruce and Mary Coleman, who live in Fayetteville’s historic district in a nearly 200-year-old house, are concerned that the proposed changes could alter the residential feel of the village.

“We are concerned that it’s going to change the character of the village,” said Bruce. “Our feeling is that most of the people who live here do so because it’s a residential community and this has the potential to create the feel of commercialism, like in the village of Manlius, for example. You’ll have employees and business owners coming and going all day and I don’t think many village residents are aware of what this [proposed amendment] is all about.”

The amendment of zoning chapter 187-7 would affect all homes within the R-3 district in the village of Fayetteville, which spans from the Elm Street neighborhood, across East Genesee Street, and into the neighborhoods to the west of the Fayetteville Free Library.

Currently, anyone who owns a home in the R-3 district may have up to three residential units within the property and must approach the planning board before renting anything out, said village trustee Mike Small. Today, homeowners and renters of those properties are permitted to run a home occupation business in the building.

The proposed amendment would alter the rules so that the owner and full-time legal resident of the property (as proven by participation in the STAR program) could rent up to 25 percent of the total floor area of a residence to a professional to operate a business with up to three employees on the property.

Small, who’s a part of a committee that’s been looking into the proposed changes for several months, said that there are safeguards in place to ensure that the properties within the R-3 district, many of which are more than 100 years old, are taken care of.

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