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      Common Council wants public hearing on Carrier Dome parking

      Several new buildings are planned on Dome parking lots--the Dome is being pointed to, at the top, 81 is at the left. The 2 grey buildings are future parking garages

      The Common Council has decided to hold off voting on a Planned Instutional District that could change Syracuse University's western side of campus. Lawmakers want to hold a public hearing about the parking situation specifically for Carrier Dome events.

      Western lots could be turned into space for a new dorm and other projects. SU is hoping to change the zoning for 17.9 acres that it owns to allow for construction. No timetable for public hearings have been set yet.

      Wednesday February 23rd:

      The area between the Carrier Dome and Interstate 81 - prime parking for Carrier Dome events - is about to be changed to a multi-building academic complex.

      Syracuse University and SUNY ESF have presented a proposal to change the zoning for 17.9 acres - from the dorms already under construction to the existing SU parking garage near the law school - to make it all a 'Planned Institutional District."

      Architects had the schematics at Tuesday's Common Council study session, and we got an exclusive look. In addition to the planned Dineen Law School building, right across from the Dome's west side, SU will build a new dormitory.

      The Business Wire reports the project is in the hands of a Memphis-based company, with the goal to break ground this summer and complete the 'Campus West Apartments' by the summer of 2012. SU will lease the land to the company for the structures, which will accomodate 312 students in a mix of studio, one, two, and four-bedroom units. Each apartment is set to have private bathrooms and bedrooms, as well as a full kitchen with a washer and dryer, primarily for law students, grad students, and SU upper classmen.

      A SUNY ESF academic building is also set to be built in the area, primarily where old multiple-occupancy homes would be torn down along East Raynor and Henry Streets. SU would build another academic building nearby, and a commercial building is also in the plans, along with the SU dorm... all on Dome parking lots.

      At today's session, SU reps told us they feel current parking garages will be able to accomodate cars that normally park on the Dome lots. Two parking garages are in the master development plan, but they are in the long-term, not immediate construction plan.

      Representatives of SEUNA, the Southeast University Neighborhood Association, tell us that they're happy about the dorms. Harry Lewis says it gives over 600 more students (in both the SU and ESF buildings) options other than the 'student homes' in their neighborhoods, which would allow more room for 'regular' residents. However, Lewis says they'll be watching the parking situation closely, because historically, even though there is plenty of game parking on South Campus and other nearby locations, people prefer to park closer---there is a concern that more people will try to park in neighborhoods to the east of the campus.

      The construction trailer is already on-site for the Dineen Law School building, and work will start this summer on the new dorm, though when we called Syracuse City Hall this afternoon, we were told that not all the zoning and codes work is done yet.

      The Common Council votes on the overall 17.9 acre Planned Institutional District on Monday.