At last night’s Planning and Economic Development committee meeting, council members took a look at an initial proposal for rezoning the land that includes Carpenter Business Park, that of Community Garden fame, as well as Aldi, Rick’s Rental World, and Palisade.
There are two main elements of the potential change. Firstly, the proposed WF-3 zone would scale back the allowable industrial activity from potentially heavy industrial uses (think chemical processing or manufacturing) to light industrial (think food processing), and secondly, residential units as part of mixed-use buildings between two and five stories would be permitted.
Despite Ithaca’s tight housing market, there was push-back from several council members who were not convinced that either housing would be appropriate (or even legally permissible) in proximity to the industrial facilities present near the land in question, or that the City should be zoning away its scarce industrial space.
With those concerns noted, the committee still unanimously approved that the proposal be circulated for review. It will be interesting to see what, if any, changes actually occur with the now mostly vacant land in Carpenter Business Park. There was a lot of talk during the community gardens discussion over the need for the City to think proactively about the desired uses of the land in question. We’ll get a better sense next month, after circulation and review, of how the City will proceed.
Here’s a map and memo for the proposed change.