New development outside the city on West Hill (from the Ithaca Journal):
Ithaca to receive plans for new West Hill development
8:52 PM, Feb 5, 2013
ITHACA — Before long, residents of Indian Creek Road could see about 70 new homes built for eco-friendly, mixed-income neighbors.
Cayuga Town Homes development would sit atop 26 acres of Tompkins County owned land near Cayuga Medical Center. Town officials are set to discuss the housing development during a public meeting at 4:30 p.m. Feb. 28 in Ithaca Town Hall, 215 N. Tioga St.
Like Ecovillage, Cayuga Town Homes would emphasize renewable energy use within a pedestrian-style community. Homes would range from one-bedroom apartments to two-story townhouses, featuring a mix of renters and owners.
Tompkins County Planning Commissioner Ed Marx said most units are planned to be affordable for people earning 60 percent of median income in the county.
Ithaca Town Councilman Rich DePaolo said zoning would have to be changed for the housing development. That gives the town oversight as to how the land can be developed.
DePaolo said the town’s comprehensive plan aims to make the county land an industrial zone, and not high-density residential.
“It’s not clear to me at this point how it (the proposed housing development) fits in with our overall concept of development in that area,” he said.
West Hill has long grappled with growing pains. From 2000 to 2010, the area’s population increased by 22 percent, while the town as a whole only grew by 6.5 percent. Based on previous growth on East and South hills, West Hill development is estimated to occur over a period of several decades.
In 2009, West Hill residents pushed against construction in their area because of traffic congestion. A West Hill development moratorium was enacted in June 2011, and lasted a year, while the town conducted a traffic study.
Staff writer D.W. Nutt contributed to this report.