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Ideas sought on restoring business area

The Lancaster Village Board will seek public suggestions on restoring early 20th century charm to the village's central business district.

At its meeting Monday, the board set a public hearing for 8:30 p.m. Oct. 10 on a draft of a proposal to establish guidelines for the area.

Mayor William G. Cansdale said the hearing will focus on design standards for the district, which runs along Central Avenue off Broadway. The goal, he said, includes undoing "the damage that was done during the urban renewal of the 1960s and '70s."

"We want to stick with the original red brick, Victorian architecture, with the [Lancaster] Opera House/Town Hall as the anchor of the district. The Opera House attracts thousands of tourists to the village, and we'd like all the other businesses to feed off the traffic that comes to the Opera House," Cansdale said.

The new design standards were established in a second draft of the Central Business District Zoning Amendment prepared for the village in 2001.

Earlier this month, a design standards committee gave the Village Board its recommendations based on the document, which covers building and siting design, construction standards, lighting, fencing and screening.

Village officials have designated three specific zones for the business area: the traditional central business zone along Central Avenue; a new-development zone to the east, intended to promote mixed-use development on a single parcel of land; and an open space zone along Cayuga Creek for parks and recreational uses.

The Village Board will not have to take action on the document immediately after the public hearing, Cansdale said.


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