January 28, 2011

Varna Planning - current status

Update: new version of this story available.

At both the Town Board and Planning Board meetings this week, Planning Director Dan Kwasnowski expressed concerns about the possible impact of large-scale development (likely Stephen Lucente's Varna II) on the Varna Master Plan work that's just getting underway. He definitely would prefer to avoid a moratorium on development, but mentioned it as a possibility if needed.

In the meantime, the Town Board is moving forward with zoning, just removing the density table from the hamlet section to leave a temporary maximum of one unit per 10,000 square feet, or 4.35 units per acre. They plan to amend the zoning when the plan is complete.

The Master Plan seems to be getting underway - the Planning Board appointed Jim Skaley, Melissa Amodei, and Mike Richardson as community representatives, and it still sounds like they're aiming to finish by mid-summer, producing zoning language, comprehensive plan language, and maybe more. The primary hitch in that story remains Cornell, whose commitment to funding part of it remains uncertain.

Personally, I'm glad to see the Town paying attention to Varna planning with something more than the very vague current zoning. At the same time, I'm deeply skeptical that reopening the Comprehensive Plan is actually going to lead to results that residents - present or future - actually want. So far, the zoning process seems to have departed most severely from the Comprehensive Plan on Varna and on Route 13, and I can't say I've seen those deviations as any kind of improvement.

We'll see.

Posted by simon at January 28, 2011 7:27 PM in , , ,
Note on photos