March 23, 2010

Zoning discussed in Varna

Last night's public workshop on the amended zoning law was almost as busy as the one held January in Dryden, with some familiar faces but also a lot of new people.

Settling in at the Varna zoning meeting.
Settling in at the Varna zoning meeting.

Opponents of the law who'd spoken earlier - notably Bruno Schickel, who wrote an earlier op-ed and Ken Miller - were there, along with clusters of people from Sunset West Circle and the Varna area. Chip Ray, whose family owns Hillside Acres, opposed the law for what he saw as restrictions on unsubsidized affordable housing. Schickel did praise parts of the law - notably the Hamlet zoning and optional Neighborhood zoning, which allow more development - while opposing changes that limit scattered development.

Eric Ludwig of Sunset Circle asked whether, since the zoning update is to bring the zoning into conformance with the Comprehensive Plan, there was a minimal amount of change possible, a question echoed a few times. (There was also a question about whether the Comprehensive Plan itself could be reopened,which is a more complicated issue.)

A number of speakers supported the law, one pointing out that his property values aren't simply a result of what he can do on his land, but of what neighbors do on their land. Mount Varna came up a few times as an abuse of land use. With the Varna II proposal in the background, there were a few questions about density and one about crime.

My question was about the maximum density the plan allows, which turns out to be six units per acre in the Optional Traditional Neighborhood Development Overlay District, where units are one dwelling - house, apartment, townhouse, etc. Hamlet zoning, in areas with water and sewer, is just four units per acre. Partly I wanted to check my reading comprehension, and partly that just seems like a huge contrast with Varna II's proposed 16 units per acre.

Stephen Lucente, the proposed Varna II developer, was at the meeting, but didn't speak.

The Town is still soliciting comments (and I need to write mine up). If you want to review the current documents, they're here, and comments should go to:

Dan Kwasnowksi, Environmental Planner
Dryden Town Hall
93 East Main Street
Dryden, NY 13053

The Planning Board and Town Board hope to release a revised draft in May or June, so get comments in soon!

Posted by simon at March 23, 2010 7:57 AM in , ,
Note on photos