City seeks input on College Hill Neighborhood Plan

CORTLAND, N.Y. – The city of Cortland is seeking feedback from residents in the College Hill neighborhood as part of an initiative to improve an area of the city that officials say is in need of more owner-occupied homes.

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Residents are invited to weigh in on the city's College Hill Neighborhood Plan at a community workshop that will take place at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Parker Elementary School Cafeteria on 89 Madison Street in Cortland.

The College Hill Neighborhood Plan builds off of the city's comprehensive plan, which was adopted in May 2012 with the goal of "setting a new direction" for the city.

The College Hill plan looks to address the degradation of residential neighborhoods surrounding the SUNY Cortland campus, according to officials.

"Increased levels of student-occupied rental properties, and resultant social issues, have resulted in a perceived decline in the quality of the neighborhood," city officials wrote in their 2014 request for proposals from consulting firms.

Such concerns led to the creation of a "Live-in-Cortland" initiative, which looks to entice new residents to live in the city, particularly those employed at SUNY Cortland. This would help create a more sustainable student/non-student ratio.

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The College Hill Neighborhood (Thoma Development)

The city received funding through the "Cleaner, Greener Communities Program" offered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to help prepare the neighborhood plan.

Tuesday's discussion will be led by Matt Ingalls, principal designer with the Rochester-based firm Ingalls Planning & Design, and John Steinmetz,  a representative from Steinmetz Planning Group. Both consulting firms were contracted by the city to help develop planning and land use regulations.

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