October 20, 2021

Byrne project awaits planning board

S.N. Briere/staff reporter

Byrne Dairy representatives spoke with residents on Nixon Avenue in the village of Homer in January about putting a gas station on the corner of Route 281 and Cayuga Street across from Glenwood Cemetery. The gas station would go on land that is currently a vacant lot at the corner, a used car lot, a car wash and the site of a veterinary office.

The Cortland County Planning Department has recommended allowing a zoning change for a Route 281 Byrne Dairy project, but the county and Homer village planning boards have yet to vote to approve the change because the coronavirus pandemic has postponed meetings.

The village planning board won’t vote on it this month, either. It has already postponed its April13 meeting, according to the village’s website.

“The meetings won’t happen in the village until the county holds their planning meetings as we are required to get their approval for projects,” said Tanya Digennaro, the village’s treasurer. “The meetings will be done by Zoom when held.”

Byrne Dairy proposes building a 4,232-square-foot gas station with a store and deli on Route 281 and Route 90. The station would be on 2.4 acres now occupied by a car wash, a used car lot, a veterinarian’s office and vacant corner lot.

However, those board postponements won’t affect when the company will begin construction.

“We had no date” for construction, said Christian Brunelle, the senior executive vice president working on the project. “Whenever they reopen, I’ll be back in front of them.”

The county planning department recommended in March that the county planning board approve a zoning change to make all properties consistent.

The department also recommended the village make sure Byrne Dairy complete several other steps, including: Ensuring the zoning changes meets the village’s comprehensive plan.

Mitigating the effect to the surrounding neighbors of noise, lights and odors. Adding grooves to the concrete around dispensing areas.

Making sure a licensed engineer of the Cortland County Soil and Water Conservation District reviews a stormwater pollution plan.