January 24, 2005

Zoning Officer and Town Clerk's 2004 reports

At this month's Town Board meeting, members mentioned annual reports from Henry Slater, the Zoning Officer, and Bambi Hollenbeck, Town Clerk. I put in a request for them, and was well rewarded. The Zoning & Building Department's 2004 report (232KB PDF) includes an overview of growth in the town, while the Town Clerk's report (38KB PDF) shows money coming into and going out of the Town Clerk's office, a good overview of fees paid into the town and where they go.

In the section "What Does the Future Hold?", Zoning Officer Slater discusses some residential development in progress and then writes:

Commercial Development does not offer much for the future which is consistent with recent trends. Commercial Industrial development tends to look to areas where municipal water and sewer services are available. There is not a lot of undeveloped commercial industrial area available where municipal water and sewer service is available. Where these services are available, land values are high.

Currently, residential development is the area which will be where tax base growth should be expected. Typically, 40 - 50 single family homes are built each year. 2004, for example, had 40 single family home construction permits.

With the recent big box retail boom within Tompkins County which should boost employment, should also provide an opportunity for residential growth. Residential growth will be dependent on many factors beginning with earning power. Typically, retail does not provide high earning potential. A direction toward affordable housing may be an area to explore.

Commercial, then residential, then the impact of the nature of commercial development locally on residential development. Slater also provides summaries of the year's work by the Zoning Board of Appeals, Planning Board, Conservation Board, and Environmental Planner Debbie Gross. One piece of the Environmental Planner section is especially interesting in light of recent Town Board discussions on the purchase of land for a new Town Hall:

Assuming the Town is successful in completing the land purchase from Empire, Debbie will assume the lead role in utilizing the wetland area as a community conservation and wetland nature center.

The Zoning & Building report also includes 20 pages of project listings with anticipated costs. I haven't scanned those, but they're available from Town Hall.

The Town Clerk's report is more a balance sheet, but of $86,404.16 collected (no, that doesn't include taxes!), $62,691.58 remained in one of the town's fund, with $23,712.58 going to either Tompkins County or the State of New York.

Posted by simon at January 24, 2005 5:54 PM in ,
Note on photos