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Huge Clay Warehouse Proposal Hearing Brings Out Detractors for Traffic, Health, Green Concerns

Shantelle Willock/WAER News

Community members raised concerns about the huge warehouse proposal in the Town of Clay – from health worries to environmental impacts to traffic snarls.  The Onondaga County Industrial Development Agency, OCIDA, held a public hearing Tuesday with representatives of the developer on hand. 

Clay resident Pat Sentoff, a teacher, wanted to raise her voice on behalf of students who would be in close proximity to the huge warehouse and its estimated bump in truck traffic. 

“The kids who go to BOCES across the street, who usually drive because they’re juniors and seniors, it’s going to be a nightmare.  For the kids who take the bus to Liverpool High School and Morgan Road School, almost adjacent to that property, it’s going to change their lives.  When kids go outside to have recess, it’s going to be a lead0filled, air-quality nightmare.  So I’m just here to talk for the next generation.”

The proposal by Trammel Crow Company is to build a modern, high-tech warehouse with an 850-thousand square-foot footprint on what’s now the Liverpool Golf Course and adjacent property.  The developers are seeking zoning changes and tax incentives, such as: property tax breaks exceeding $45 million; about $20 million in exemptions on sales tax for building materials; and almost $2 million in waving the county mortgage recording tax.  OCIDA will make the determination on those incentives.  

Vincent Messina of Liverpool would like to see the development – if approved – to incorporate more green building and environmentally sensitive features.  He says current plans don’t follow that direction.

“The building will not be LEED certified, which is certainly not in keeping with the recently passed, New York State Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.  This project should use some type of renewable energy; it should have a green roof.”

Messina further suggests porous parking lot surfaces or other methods to keep oil- and gas-tainted runoff out of sawmill creek, which runs into Onondaga Lake. 

A previous public hearing included both supporters of the project for its job growth and economic boost, as well as detractors for traffic and other impacts.  This hearing brought out mostly opponents of the proposal. 

Officials hold another meeting tonight on the actual site plans at 7:30 in the Clay Town Hall.