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Opposition to a proposal to rezone the Cornell Experimental Station on Routes 20 and 60 to commercial surfaced Monday night during a public hearing on the village's proposed zoning ordinance.

Neighbors who said they like the residential nature of the area are opposed to the possibility of a commercial strip, with increased traffic, noise and lights. Some said they fear decreased property values and the destruction of the area as a neighborhood.

Also discussed during the hearing was the proposal by Hank Bokman to build a medical office park on land at the end of Newton Street. He hopes to rezone 14 acres for the project.

Bokman presented a map that showed both residential and commercial use for the property, complete with traffic patterns.

Student housing was also discussed. The proposed ordinance allows only two or three unrelated people per dwelling unit. The 1969 code now being used allows four unrelated people per dwelling unit.

Village officials noted the Chautauqua County Planning Board has ruled that three agricultural districts in the village must allow farm animals in order to meet the requirements of state law and the county's "right to farm" law.

Village Attorney Samuel Drayo Jr. pointed out the village has banned farm animals since 1938.

Mayor Frank Pagano and Drayo plan to meet with the planning department to discuss the issue further.

"The problem of the zoning code is the pressure in adjusting the code," Pagano observed. "We have to look at the betterment of the whole community, not just one area. We have to look at the tax base, which needs commercial and industrial taxpayers, not just residential.

"Not everyone on the Village Board is happy with the code. But we will look at this again," he added.

The mayor said the Planning Board will have more power and authority than before.

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