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"Land swap" up for vote in Onondaga

Some neighbors are opposing a proposed “land swap” between the company that owns Byrne Dairy and the Town of Onondaga. The plan is being put to a referendum on December 11th.
TOWN OF ONONDAGA, NY (WSYR-TV) - Some neighbors are opposing a proposed “land swap” between the company that owns Byrne Dairy and the Town of Onondaga. The plan is being put to a referendum on December 11th.

The deal involves flip-flopping two properties on East Avenue.

The first property, close to the Town of Onondaga Senior Center, belongs to Byrne Dairy. Just down the street, the parking lot behind Byrne Dairy belongs to the town. 

Board members originally agreed to swap until some neighbors got edgy.

"Well, they've got a lot of land that Byrne has bought, acres and acres that they have not put a proposal as to what they want to do,” said Diane Skelton, who opposes the land swap.

The Town of Onondaga pulled out of the deal and the company that owns the store took their case to court, forcing the issue after neighbors petitioned for a referendum. 

Now, dual campaigns are being waged with flyers, for and against the swap

Those opposed are worried the company may expand, bring more traffic or install gas pumps near their homes and local churches. 

Town board member Suzanne Belle says even if the land deal holds up with a public vote, any expansion plans would be reviewed separately.

"He would have to go through the traffic studies and the planning board, zoning and approvals. He would have to go through all the channels like anyone else coming in to develop anything in our town," said Belle.

The company hasn't submitted specific plans to the board and wouldn't elaborate when NewsChannel 9 asked for details. That is what bothers Skelton and her friends the most.

"There hasn't been any information out there and the private citizen doesn't have the funds to put the big ad on it like Byrne has. So, it is not well known,” said Skelton.

There was no comment from Byrne Dairy Sunday tonight.

Calls to Town Supervisor Tom Andino have not been returned.

The referendum is scheduled for December 11th at the Onondaga Town Hall on Ball Road, from noon to 8 p.m.
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