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Thursday 15 November 2018
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DeWitt Adopts New Zoning Laws Allowing Mixing Residential and Retail, Town Developers Interested

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A new mixed-use overlay zoning law was passed in the town of DeWitt. This law applies to three separate districts within the town, and it will allow for the mix of retail and residential projects.

This means that developers can build projects that have retail stores on the first floor and apartments or condos on the upper floors. As of right now, 25% of rental residents in a survey were renters by choice, meaning they would rather live in an apartment instead of a house. Could these new apartments attached to retails stores increase the desire for renting?

Town officials have reported that several developers are already interested in pursuing these types of projects. No specific proposals have been submitted yet, though, according to Town Supervisor Ed Michalenko.

The zoning laws allow different heights for the buildings at each of the three districts. One district has a two-story height limit, another has a four-story height limit, and the third would allow projects that are six stories high. This could mean retail on the first floor, and condos or apartments could take up the next five floors. That’s a lot of apartments.

The new mixed-use zoning laws are designed for commercial areas in the Syracuse area, including Erie Boulevard/East Genesee Street corridor, the Thompson Road/James Street corridor and the area around New Court Avenue.

While developers seem eager to start these projects, residents seem hesitant. A number of them spoke out again the new overlay at a recent public hearing. They stated that high-density apartments will tax the school system, increase already cumbersome traffic, and be “eyesores.” They also complained that renters don’t have the same investment in their properties that homeowners often do. With a mix of reviews on these new projects, it may take a while to get anything approved. There’s no saying when DeWitt will see any mixed-use projects.