ITHACA, N.Y.—As Planning Board meetings go for the City of Ithaca, April’s was something of a juggernaut in sheer volume. There was one Special Order of Business, two subdivision reviews, eight projects for Site Plan Review, and three Zoning Appeals.

To quote an email response received from Senior Planner Lisa Nicholas before the meeting, “(i)t will be a long one.”

Indeed, it was. Four hours and forty minutes, and the only item to receive final approvals was one of the subdivisions. But, just because the city has an extended agenda does not mean this publication will gloss over the details. This month is one of the longer write-ups, folks. Have yourself a cup of coffee or brew up some tea, and dive in below. For those who like to read along, the 249-page PDF of last night’s agenda can be found here.

Special Order of Business (East Hill Historic District Expansion)

The special order of business last night was a proposed expansion of the East Hill Historic District. Now, this is not a decision process they take lightly, as it comes with pros and cons. The obvious pro is it helps maintain architectural integrity of a neighborhood deemed to be of significant cultural, architectural or aesthetic value. The con is that every bit of exterior work, or interior work readily visible from the outside, has to be approved by city staff—or if more substantial in scale, like a new porch or stair railing, the Ithaca Landmarks Preservation Commission (ILPC). This means authentic or appropriate replica materials or designs worthy of their approval. These historically accurate materials and complementary designs are often more expensive than a regular renovation or home project, and have at times been described as tools for accelerating gentrification and displacement of lower-income homeowners. In short, you have increased labor costs, and the possible gentrification effect to consider.

According to city Historic Preservation Planner Bryan McCracken, the proposed expansion involves 19 properties on East Court Street, Linn Street and North Aurora Street, which were built from the 1830s to the early 1930s. The way this works is that the ILPC decides whether or not their expansion has merit, and if they recommend expanding the district, the Planning and Economic Development Committee (PEDC) and full Common Council still must sign off on the expanded district just as they would a zoning change. The Planning Board’s role is to advise the Common Council based on city planning goals if the designation does or doesn’t work contrary to city goals in a substantial way, and prepares a report for the PEDC to be reviewed alongside the ILPC findings. It’s tempting to think that this will be an easy sell, but as we’ve seen with the Chacona Block and the former fire station No. 9, Common Council may not see it that way.

McCracken walked the board through the process, and said affected property owners have been notified of the planned expansion and have been communicating to the city. Board chair Robert Lewis described it as small expansion of an established district, so it doesn’t sound like the board is opposed off-the-cuff, but look for more discussion on this topic over the coming months.

Subdivision Review

Second on the agenda were lot subdivision reviews – these are when property lots in the city, technically known as parcels, seek legal reconfiguration, either to be split up, reshaped or consolidated. Back before the Planning Board this month were plans for a subdivision in the South Meadow Street retail corridor, and the second at 238 Dryden Road in Collegetown.

The first subdivision up for review is at 710-734 South Meadow Street, or what most of us know better as the Tops Plaza. The owners of the 20.89-acre strip mall want to split and reconfigure the property into five parcels. The Chili’s restaurant at the edge of the plaza (technically called an outparcel, Parcel “B” here) would be subdivided into a 0.335 acre property and sold to Chili’s. Elmira Savings Bank (Parcel “C”) is already its own lot, but would be reconfigured into a 0.625 acre lot because the current lot doesn’t accurately capture the bank’s footprint, especially the drive-thru lanes. Verizon Wireless (Parcel “D”) would be subdivided into a 1.086-acre lot to facilities a potential sale to the Verizon franchisee. Last but not least, the main plaza buildings and everything else on-site would be split into two parcels (Parcel “A-1” for Tops and Parcel “A-2” for Barnes&Noble), which would have no ownership changes. Legal easements would allow for shared parking and access.

Basically, this is a splitting off and reconfiguration of lots hosting some of the smaller outlying buildings in the plaza, either for financial or logistical reasons. It has not been controversial, but approval could not be granted last month because Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) approval was required and granted for area variances. The board quickly gave their consent (6-0, with board member Elisabete Godden absent) to the subdivision as drawn with a unanimously vote of preliminary approval – however, it’s still not done. With the legal easements for access and a few other matters to sort out, final approval can be given next month.

The other subdivision item up on last night’s agenda was in Collegetown. Developer Todd Fox of Visum Development recently finished his new “The Lux” apartment building at 232 Dryden Road, and has had plans approved for a smaller 8-unit building next door at 238 Dryden, which he plans to start construction on this year. Fox is requesting to split the lot so that 232 Dryden and 238 Dryden are on their own lots, 0.686 acres and 0.091 acres respectively. This also required a trip to the BZA for lot deficiencies (53.6 percent and 55.5 percent lot coverage for the two parcels vs. 50 percent allowed), which meant the subdivision could not be approved by the Planning Board until this month. In this case, both preliminary approval and final subdivision approval could be granted at once, and was done so unanimously. Expect this project to get underway this summer for an August 2022 opening.

Site Plan Review

For those unfamiliar with the ways of the Planning Board, Site Plan Review (SPR) is where the review of new building proposals happens. In the interest of not pushing 10 pages of material, if you want a description of the steps in the project approval process, the “Site Plan Review Primer” is here.

During SPR, the Planning Board looks at sketch plans, declares itself lead agency for state environmental quality review (SEQR), conducts a review and declares negative (adverse effects mitigated) or positive (potential harmful impacts, needs an Environmental Impact Statement), while concurrently performing design review for projects in certain neighborhoods for aesthetic impacts. Once those are all good and finished, they vote on preliminary site plan approval and, after reviewing a few final details and remaining paperwork, final site plan approval.

Perdita Flats (204 Fair Street)

A last-minute inclusion into last night’s agenda was the re-approval of Perdita Flats, a four-unit multifamily project planned for Ithaca’s Southside neighborhood. The big selling point is that this building, developed by Taitem Engineering’s Courtney Royal and Umit Sirt, is intended to be a net-zero energy showcase—but unfortunately, construction was delayed. They’re finally ready to move forward with construction, but realized at the last minute that their approvals and the zoning variances both expired because city approvals have two-year limits, and the project was approved in April 2019. They also have to go back to the Board of Zoning Appeals.

The board liked the project before, and nothing’s changed in two years. With practically no discussion, the re-approval were granted with no dissents.

City Harbor/Guthrie Medical Center (109 Pier Road)

First up on last night’s scheduled agenda was a physically minor review for Guthrie Clinic’s new medical office building within the City Harbor mixed-use project. The three-story, 60,000 square-foot building was approved last August, and is under construction now, moving steadily towards completion at the end of the year.

More specifically to last night’s meeting is the request for signage on the building and a kiosk as well as nearby street signage for wayfinding purposes. The project is in the mixed-use Newman District for zoning, where signage is subject to the Waterfront Design Guidelines. The proposed signage exceeds the maximum allowed area and requires an area variance. From experience, signage is one of those details that seems minor, but the Planning Board is very stringent about (just ask the Maguires and the Marriott), and it’s one of the more difficult variances to try and obtain.

Landscape Architect Yifei Yan of Whitham Planning and Design walked the board through the proposed signage package—a monument sign, two building signs, four street signs of varying forms, and the map kiosk. Initial reactions were neutral to favorable. The signage did not seem too obtrusive to their eyes and they felt the signage made sense, though board member Emily Petrina questioned the need for all the signage on Pier Road. Her colleague Mitch Glass was fine with the signs but a little bothered by the rendering, noting that joggers and bikers would have trouble being seen by tall shrubs, and he hoped they would not be so obscuring in practice.

“It’s a significant variance, but it’s significant for important reasons,” said board member Garrick Blalock. “During the day you have medical parkers, during the evening you have recreational users and residents, and the weekends you have visitors and so on. That makes it a more complicated sign package, but the signage objective is related to minimizing parking for mixed-uses.”

To planner Nicholas, the issue was that the signage is as much branding as it is directional, and it’s quite a bit more than what’s allowed. Chair Lewis said he found the signage package a little big, but the arguments for having them on a large, rather complicated site layout were compelling. There was fairly broad support for the signage, though they agreed it felt like it was a bit much overall. The one sign they were really wavering on was the monument sign in the lower middle of the above image. Blalock argued it wasn’t programmatically necessary, but as a medical facility signage can have a positive, reassuring effect that they were willing to accommodate here.

No one had a strong preference on which changes, so it didn’t really make sense to delay review to go through this exercise again next month. With suggestions for timers on lighting and some downscaled building signage, the board decided to vote unanimously for approval today, request the revised materials via email before the BZA meeting, come to an agreement via email, and then having that ready for the BZA for their May meeting.

“I realize that was about an hour spent on a sign package, but I think we did good work,” said Lewis.

Outlook Apartments (815 S. Aurora Street)

Visum Development and Modern Living Rentals’ South Hill project was approved a while back as well, in September 2019. The initial plan was to get started in the spring of 2020, but then COVID happened and the student housing market, combined with Ithaca College’s woes, made the economics of the project dicey, and the finances are already tight. The developers still plan to build it starting this spring, but if an outside investor wants to buy it, they’re entertaining offers.

The project still entails the construction of a 66‐unit, 153-bed student housing complex comprised of three buildings constructed on 2.85 acres of hillside on the east side of Route 96B overlooking the planned Chain Works District. Site improvements will include walkways and curb cuts to be tied into a public sidewalk proposed by the Town of Ithaca. It will also include 67 parking spaces, as required by zoning.

The project team is requesting to revise the building materials that would allow the exterior walls to be assembled off‐site, which staff weren’t comfortable doing on the staff level and decided to bring it to the Planning Board for approval. The original plan was to use Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs, like “Fox Blocks”). In an effort to rein in costs, the new plan is a more conventional lightweight steel frame with insulation on the outside. The dark brick veneer and the top floor metal paneling would be changed to Dry-Vit synthetic stucco designed to mimic the brick and metal panels and be the same color, as it’s less labor intensive than fastening metal panels and bricking up walls. It would also be cheaper to buy, which is increasingly an issue as materials costs have been blowing up in the past several months.

Once again worth repeating here, synthetic stucco’s architectural reputation isn’t the greatest because it was basically the go-to for big box chain stores in the 1990s and 2000s, and when done poorly moisture can get into the wall system and mold/rot it out. Dry-Vit Systems Inc. staff actually had to pitch the Planning Board on it back in February, which did not go well.

This time, Dry-Vit sent two staffers along alongside architect Noah Demarest, contractor Nick Robertson of Welliver and Visum CEO Todd Fox. Demarest stressed the brick-like Dry-Vit for the ground level is being designed to look as brick-like as possible. To be fair, the photo of the mock-up looked convincing; but the issue has been about its durability and long-term appearance. For instance, the Tompkins County Library’s Dry-Vit hasn’t been cleaned since it was built 20 years ago, and looks that way. Dry-Vit’s Bob Dazel was once again on hand, this time explaining that modern Dry-Vit is more impact resistant than brick. and easy to replace if needed. Dazel and Demarest also stressed that it could be power-washed without losing its color.

The Dry-Vit brick was still a hard sell to the board. “I worry we’re setting a precedent here, where we approve a building with high-quality materials, and you come back…with a lesser quality material,” said Glass.

“It’s an expensive site to develop, I get that…but it’s a highly visible site to develop,” said his colleague Blalock.

Chair Lewis pointed out that while he appreciated the on-site wall mock-up feeling more solid than he first feared, he did not fully trust his opinion when his more technically-informed colleagues had such a “uniform lack of enthusiasm,” and questioned why this conversation should continue if their opinions still haven’t been swayed after two months.

“The thing I would most like to see is the applicant build the project as approved,” said Lewis. “Nothing is going to get approved today. If there’s going to be another plan from the applicant, we need to see another plan.”

The project team offered to have planners and historic preservation staff in other cities to serve as “independent experts” to speak about recent Dry-Vit material use in their cities, and asked if the board was comfortable with that, with Dry-Vit staff saying they had a similar situation in Providence, Rhode Island that they resolved. Given that the board would like to see projects they approve be built, they left the door open for approval if an independent party like Providence’s planning staff will talk with them regarding a previous instance. But Lewis cautioned not to rely on that expectation, saying he didn’t know if this would actually change the board’s thinking given the pretty strong aversion to approval now. In reply, Fox said they were doing everything they could to give spiking materials costs—according to Fox, the steel framing costs alone jumped $200,000 the day before they were supposed to sign the contract.

As is, it sounds like the board is open to a concession, perhaps on the upper level with the change from metal panel to Dry-Vit, but the brick ground level has to be brick. But overall, the chance of this attempt at value engineering being approved is still a question mark.

State Street Apartments (401 E. State/Martin Luther King Jr. St.)

Another plan upf or review was McKinley Development Company’s proposal for a six-story, 340,000 square-foot apartment building with a 267‐space internal parking garage and 326 apartments mixed between studio, 1, 2 and 3‐bedroom units, to be built on what is mostly surface parking on the eastern end of downtown Ithaca. With the project, non‐vehicular building access will be provided off State/MLK Jr Street, as well as internal to the site. The project includes other site improvements including the extension of the Gateway Trail to the end of the site, landscaping, lighting and other site amenities. The development will require the demolition of the existing one‐story building at the eastern end of the property.

Most notable this month was a decrease in overall housing from 347 to 326 apartments, and the parking from 318 parking spaces to 267 spaces. This was done by removing some of the parking on the eastern end of the ground level, replacing that with nine apartments and rentable storage space. The board had been pushing for higher parking space utilization and a greater emphasis in supporting carshare and other transit options, and this was one way to do it, while allowing the development team to use a less complicated (i.e. less expensive) structural support system on the east end of the building.

Of the parking spaces, 115 spaces for new residents, 30 spaces for Gateway Commons residents, 122 spaces for existing Downtown office/retail tenants, and 122 Spaces for after business hours public parking—note that those 122 parking spaces are overlapping and pulling double-duty as visitor parking after the 9-5 workers go home. In terms of timelines, it looks like August 2023 is the target date for occupancy, given an August 2021 start and a two-year construction period described in the latest filings.

Last night’s updates included a discussion of those changes, traffic and construction impacts, and continued review of Part 3 of the Full Environmental Assessment Form (FEAF), which is one of the later components of the SEQR environmental review process. McKinley had a bevy of architects and engineers on hand to speak on behalf of different project components.

The board was quite positive about the changes. Board member Petrina lauded the decrease in parking, and felt the landscaping was more lush and appropriate, and her colleagues stated they also felt there had been major improvements. Mitch Glass was a little more critical, wanting a more attractive and graciously planted bio-retention stormwater area on the western side of the property. There’s a lot of information that still needs to be reviewed, especially for a project of this size, but it’s in good shape for potential approval later within the next few months, assuming all the documentation the board requests looks good and is provided promptly.

Water Works Phase 1 (321 Taughannock Boulevard)

Next up in last night’s meeting was the mixed-use proposal for 321 Taughannock Boulevard on Inlet Island. The property owners (Linc Morse, Jodi Denman and Sue Manning) are proposing to construct a three‐story mixed‐use building on the 0.168‐acre project site. The building will have five units of for‐sale housing on the upper floors, 400 square feet of office space on the second floor and approximately 3,000 square feet of retail commercial space on the first floor with access to a boat slip area. The existing steel‐framed building on the site will be incorporated into the new building. Site improvements will include four parking spaces, landscaping, sidewalks, lighting, and other site amenities.

This project’s in the finishing stretch as far as its trip through the Planning Board is concerned – last night it was up for its vote on Determination of Environmental Significance, and given a negative declaration it would head to the BZA next month, and be eligible for preliminary site plan approval from the Planning Board in May.

There were no real surprises, though some work on replacing the seawall and taking down the waterside portion of the existing building is planned once the negative declaration is issued; demolition and site work permits are a different category than new construction permits, and don’t need site plan approval to begin work. There were suggestions for another bike rack and clearer pedestrian pathways, but the board was fairly comfortable with the plans, and happy to hear the adjacent sewer pumps were being replaced with a higher-capacity system. The negative declaration was granted on a unanimous vote.

510 MLK (510 W. State / W. Martin Luther King Jr. Street)

The next item on the Planning Board’s agenda was Visum’s “510 MLK” affordable housing proposal for 510 West State/West Martin Luther King Jr. Street in Ithaca’s West End. This project has had a major design overhaul since its first submission in 2019. Visum and its partners propose removing the one‐story commercial building fronting on State Street and a two‐story wood-frame house fronting on West Seneca, replacing them with a 60,953 SF building that’s four stories at the back (West Seneca) and five stories at the front (West State). Plans call for 57 dwelling units affordable to households making 50‐ to 80‐percent area median income, community spaces, indoor bike parking, and 942 square feet of retail space fronting State Street.

This is going to another rather complicated review for the Planning Board. The 0.413‐acre project site comprises two tax parcels and has frontage on W. State, N. Corn, and W. Seneca Streets and is in two zoning districts: CBD‐52, in which the maximum height is 52 feet, and B‐2d, in which the maximum height is 40 feet. This is subject to Downtown Design Guidelines and will probably require a zoning area variance.

The project has been the subject of some controversy, as a number of neighbors spoke out against the plans last month. The board has been mixed on the proposal; they’re certainly warm to the idea of affordable housing on the block, but acknowledge that because the area is transitioning towards a denser environment, it stands out, especially with its unusual footprint. The board is trying to figure out “reasonable and possible” to satisfy concerned parties without killing the proposal.

In contrast to the opposition last month, four letters were received to the board speaking in support of the project, noting its density is a plus in a walkable neighborhood and that the affordable housing is sorely needed in the city of Ithaca. A couple nearby business owners (a yoga studio and Gimme! Coffee) had questions and concerns with noise and construction impacts, but otherwise were not explicitly opposed or in favor.

The project team came in with a new shadow study per the board’s request, and there noticeable shadow impacts with both a four-story rear and a three-story rear. Renders presented by STREAM Collaborative’s Brandon Ebel also showed revised a West Seneca facade with an architectural “lip” above the first floor and increased detail with the façade and juliet balconies, which the board called an improvement. Some concerns were raised about parking. The site largely does not require parking spaces, but a transportation demand management plan will be needed.

The board was inclined to take the increased density and affordable housing as tradeoffs for the footprint and height, as well as the proposed mitigations in design, and it seems like the project has a path forward to approval with what was presented to the Planning Board last night.

Commercial Building (KFC, 405 Elmira Road)

Continuing through last night’s agenda lineup, here’s a new one to the Planning Board, and first shared by the Voice earlier this month—the plans for a new KFC restaurant at 405 Elmira Road on the southwest side of the city. Kansas-based KBP Investments proposes to construct a new 2,200 square-foot drive-through restaurant on what is currently an underused parking lot. The project also includes 23 parking spaces, curbing, dumpster enclosure, landscaping lighting, signage, and new pavement markings. The project will require area variances for front yard, width, parking setback, and signage.

Even with those variances, this is one part of the city where review tends to be less strict; there are few historic buildings and few residents in the city’s portion of the Route 13-Elmira Road corridor. This is also a fairly small proposal. Given those factors, the board was expected to not only Declare itself Lead Agency for environmental review, but open the public hearing. It would not be a surprise if the developer were to have their project approvals in hand by the end of June.

Engineer Adam Fishel with Marathon Engineering walked the board through the plans. Per the board’s recommendation, a small outdoor dining area is being considered in front of the restaurant, and board members sought to ward them off from planting Norway Maples on the lot since they’re an invasive species. Blalock preferred a less garish building design, to which KBP’s Rich Wilkinson responded by sharing a brown-and-cream palette, but most of the board favored the bold red and white design – it is a KFC, after all. Wilkinson noted they tried to make an offer on the Tim Horton’s space next door, because a renovation of a similar-sized building would have been easier, but their calls to the owners (a hotel group in Corning) were never returned.

Procedurally, Declaration for Lead Agency passed unanimously with minimal comment. The public hearing opened and closed with no one wishing to comment. This will not be a controversial review process, and with any luck people will be enjoying fried chicken by the end of this year or early next year.

Catherine Commons (200 & 300 Block of College Ave – West Side)

Last but not least on last night’s Site Plan Review is something the board rarely sees – a Sketch Plan, which is a pre-site plan step where a project concept is presented for initial feedback on whether the board is receptive to a proposal, and if they think it’s feasible for the project site. Sketch plans are more common to larger projects; proposals like that little KFC are usually fine with skipping Sketch Plans. Small projects can simply meet with the Planning Department staff to discuss their initial proposal before jumping straight into the Site Plan Review submission.

This is definitely a larger project, but not totally new to regular Voice readers; a larger version of it was proposed as part of the Collegetown Innovation District. We’ll save the more through discussion for the longer write-up on this project to follow, but developers John Novarr and Phil Proujansky saw the lukewarm reception to their grand plans and decided to dial it back and submit the plan in chunks; they are no longer seeking the Planned Unit Development (PUD) zoning, figuring it might be quicker and less complicated for them and the city to just submit plans over the next few years as they are ready to go.

Catherine Commons is a combination of two of the five sites from the Innovation District, “Catherine North” and “Catherine South.” However, this is a reduced-scale version of those plans. The initial proposal called for 440 apartments with ground-level retail, and buildings as tall as ten floors, well above the six floors allowed. This revised plan calls for 340 apartments, student-oriented given the Inner Collegetown location, with commercial space along College Avenue along with resident amenity spaces. Three buildings would be on the North site and two buildings would be on the South site.

The primary question going into this meeting was, what would the board be comfortable with for a height variance? The zoning for the tallest building, on Catherine North, allows for a 6-story, 80-foot tall building. The proposal is for 8 floors and 90 feet in height, so it needs a height variance. As for Catherine South, the tallest building would be 7 floors and 78 feet tall, on a site that allows 5 floors and 70 feet of height. Also important, if arguably less controversial, are requests for a setback variance at the ground floor along College Avenue to allow expanded sidewalks and pedestrian plazas, and a reduction in parking for the smallest building in the quintet, planned for Cook Street.

Trowbridge Wolf Michaels’ Kathryn Wolf led the board through the sketch plan. Wolf noted that the projects are designed to predominantly comply with existing zoning, describing the height variances along College Avenue as modest, and that the Catherine and Cook Street buildings fit the zoning height limits. Nearby Collegetown Terrace, also owned by the developers here, still has excess parking available, and that would be made available to residents of the Catherine Commons complex. With College Avenue under reconstruction, the project team is coordinating bus shelters, pedestrian plazas, artwork and amenities to improve the street-level experience, designing the buildings such that they pull back from the sidewalk to allow for more pedestrian space.

Meanwhile, ikon.5 architect Arvind Tikku described the architectural work. He highlighted the glassy storefronts for a more active street-level, and materials designed to blend in and complement adjacent buildings while creating a modern look with the new buildings. The structures are spaced out to prevent a canyon effect, and step down with the decrease in elevation along College Avenue. The Catherine and Cook Street buildings have more secluded side entrances for resident privacy and to make the side streets feel quieter. As on observation, either Tikku and Wolf wrote out their speaking portions beforehand, or they’re really good at speaking off the cuff.

There was considerable enthusiasm for the plans. “In general I think this is a good project,” said McKenzie Jones. The rest of the board was also favorable, if perhaps a bit speechless initially—especially Planning Board member C.J. Randall, who did one of the initial parking studies in Collegetown that showed substantial declines in personal vehicle use in 2012. She was taken aback by seeing just how car-independent Collegetown plans have evolved over the past decade. Petrina said the embrace of the street level was welcome and wonderful, and she was open to recommending the height variances, feeling the density in Collegetown was okay and the street recesses and building breaks helped make the building mass less imposing. Blalock said he was predisposed to like the plans based on TWMLA and ikon.5’s strong track record in the city (Breazzano Center, Cornell’s North Campus, Collegetown Terrace).

“I’m surprised it’s taken this long to do something this nice,” said Glass.

“I appreciate the amount of commercial you have in this project, it makes Collegetown feel like more than an assemblage of dorms,” added chair Lewis.

He did have some reservations, however, that it might bring higher-profile tenants that may not mesh with the funky little indie stores that provide Collegetown’s character. But in general he liked the plan, applauding the interpretation of scale and stepping down to neighboring apartment houses.

According to Wolf, the plan is to begin pre-application review in June, and Site Plan Review submissions would be in the August-September time frame. With a project of this size and given the time needed for site plan review, mid-2022 – August 2024 is a plausible buildout period if approved.


Board of Zoning Appeals Recommendations

On the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) side, where the board makes recommendations to the BZA on projects seeking zoning variances from city code, the board reviewed three submissions this month. Two, Guthrie’s signage and Water Works, are discussed above.

The third is for 217 Auburn Street in Ithaca’s Fall Creek neighborhood. The case is simple enough; a growing family seeks to remodel their home, a new side entrance is proposed, but that intrudes on side yard setback rules, which is easy thing to trigger when renovating an older home on a deep but narrow Fall Creek lot. The board was neutral to the proposal and didn’t have any issues with the proposed renovations, and left it at that.

Other Business

Most of the reports were abbreviated or shortened because everyone was, well, spent after four and a half hours. The planning staff are working on new times for the Project Review sub-committee to meet, and it didn’t seem like there was any pressing new planning business that had to be shared at 10:30 PM.

On a final note to this long, long writeup—congrats with the new baby on the way, Chair Lewis. Best wishes to a smooth and healthy arrival in June.

Brian Crandall reports on housing and development for the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached at