Town of Ithaca ready to undertake major zoning overhaul

By Brian Crandall
The Ithaca Voice

Image from Form Ithaca / The Ithaca Voice
A rendering of what a neighborhood could look like for a planned project atop South Hill. The view shown here is looking northeast from the intersection of Route 96B and East King Road, with Ithaca College’s Circle Apartments to the upper left.

ITHACA – The town of Ithaca’s zoning code really isn’t as good as they’d like it to be. For one, it’s the longest part of the town’s laws and regulations. The original code was written several decades ago, and apart from a couple of major updates, everything else has just been tacked on. It’s like a house where the owners put a new room on every few years, leave a lot of clutter lying around, and change where the doors and hallways lead – it’s not going to look so good after a while, or be that easy to navigate.

Town of Ithaca senior planner Dan Tasman knows that fact all too well.
“It’s a mess, so many older codes are that way,” he said. “Old-timey codes, instead of a broad expanse of uses, they do a laundry list – every kind of business, every retail use, industrial use, long lists of uses like glue factories, millineries, separate definitions for breweries that make ale and those that make lager, things like that.”

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