Through the course of developing the 2005 Comprehensive Plan, the Residential and Commercial Design Guidelines and now the proposed Zoning Law the hamlet of Varna has been repeatedly identified as a uniquely situated opportunity for the town with regard to future development. Currently the hamlet area, depending how that area is defined, is a residential and commercial node with rental properties, single-family homes, vacant lots, trailer parks and commercial properties. The proposed Varna Trail, a joint project with Cornell University, is proposed to link the area along the former railroad bed and tie into the East Ithaca Recreation Way.
The area is served by water and sewer with adequate capacity to accommodate new development. There are some reported drainage issues, but these could be alleviated by development incorporating modern standards for stormwater management. The hamlet is located adjacent to Cornell research facilities, and is within a mile of the Cornell campus making it a very popular place to live among students, and staff. Route 366 is a major commuter route, and passes through the hamlet accounting for traffic issues within the hamlet, but also creates opportunity for commercial businesses. The hamlet has been identified for potential development and redevelopment in both the Tompkins County Route 366/13 corridor plan, and the transportation focused Generic Environmental Impact Statement issued by the Town of Ithaca and Cornell University.