August 19, 2010

Town Board takes on zoning

The Town Board took a more direct role in drafting the final zoning ordinance than the Planning Board suggested at the end of August.

Instead of convening a new task force including members of the Town Board, Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals, and Conservation Board, the Town Board decided to focus on this project themselves, during their first meeting of the month. (This year, they've had a first monthly work meeting, though open to the public, and then the regular public meeting, which is generally things the public will find more interesting.)

Steve Stelick suggested the idea, but board members seemed to jump on it. There were questions about the use of email, which Supervisor Mary Ann Sumner clarified would be only for agenda-setting and question collecting. The public will have a chance to speak at the end of these working meetings, but there wasn't a broad discussion of when in the process they'll solicit public input.

Dryden Town Board meeting
August Dryden Town Board meeting.

Most of the audience and the speakers were from the Varna area, and the board separated the Varna work from the rest of the zoning. Work toward a Varna Master Plan went back to the Planning Board and the consultant who's been working on the zoning so far. I probably should have asked what that separation would mean for Varna's status in the zoning draft the Town Board will be working on.

The first of these meetings will be September 8th, with the regular non-zoning business starting at 7:00pm and the zoning conversation starting when that's done, likely around 8:00pm. It sounded like they'd be taking up setbacks, one of the parts of the law I've heard no complaints about.

I don't have a clear picture of how this affects the likely outcome of the zoning process. I like that the Town Board members are now going to be clearly responsible for the work, but beyond that I'm not certain how quickly this will flow or what kinds of public input they'll be seeking. I doubt they'll rush it through, at least, but there's still a lot to watch here.

Posted by simon at August 19, 2010 8:24 PM in ,
Note on photos