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Historic value of village of Skaneateles home subject of contentious planning meeting

A public hearing on proposed changes to a village of Skaneateles property owned by well-known local businessman Adam Weitsman saw arguments from two teams of lawyers and experts and nearly 20 town or village residents.

Weitsman, who owns The Krebs restaurant in the village and Upstate Shredding, a scrap metal recycler, has proposed demolishing the home at 61 W. Lake St., which adjoins his family’s home on 45 W. Lake St., in order to make way for a pool area with an accompanying guest house.

The proposal has met with some resistance some several neighbors and village residents who say the demolition would cost the village some of its historic character.

Weitsman’s attorney, Doreen Simmons, who also lives on W. Lake Street, told the planning board at the public hearing on a site plan review that Weitsman and his wife, Kim, had gone to great lengths to address the community’s concerns, including hiring an engineering firm to ensure construction did not adversely affect Skaneateles Lake.

Multiple experts from both teams disputed several aspects of the project, including the extent of requested variances, dimensions of the proposed new structures, and the historic value of the house that would be demolished.

Ted Bartlett, an architect with Crawford and Stearns Architects and Preservation Planners, said that the home had been determined as eligible for historic preservation by the state in Jan. 2019, but had enough historic value to deserve protection regardless of its official status.

A majority of the public speakers supported the Weitsmans, many expressing a common confusion and disappointment that they were not being allowed to do what they pleased with property they rightly owned, and why several other recent projects hadn’t been so hotly contested.

The Citizen:
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