August 13, 2012

Empty office buildings

This article on empty office parks in Chicago and the challenges of reusing that space reminds me once again of the mostly-dead NYSEG building on the 13/366 intersection....

Posted by simon at 8:22 AM

June 11, 2012

Nodal development apparently still the hot planning buzzword here

I'm a little confused. A fair amount of the private response I got back on my nodal development critique last year was that Tompkins County wasn't as excited about that particular phrase any longer and I was shooting at something...

Posted by simon at 3:22 PM

May 25, 2012

Discussing the Varna Master Plan

The Town of Dryden Planning Department returned to the Varna Community Center Wednesday with an update on the proposed master plan for the hamlet. Unlike last November's event, which was loosely structured and focused on what different parts of the...

Posted by simon at 5:04 PM

May 18, 2012

Town Board approves Yellow Barn water district

Last night's Town Board meeting started out with a pretty full room, because of the public hearing on the Yellow Barn water district. The Town will be taking over the infrastructure of the Yellow Barn Water Company, whose board members...

Posted by simon at 7:26 AM

May 17, 2012

Varna Community Development Plan meeting May 23rd

It sounds like this is nearing completion: Public Meeting about the Final Varna Community Development Plan: The Town of Dryden invites you to the Varna Community Center on May 23 at 7:00PM to review the Final Varna Community Development Plan....

Posted by simon at 5:11 PM

January 5, 2012

Lots of questions over different kinds of "development"

One underlying theme I keep finding in the Ithaca Journal this new year is questions about how we want to build in this county. Many of the questions are about energy, but others aren't. There's a roundup of news about...

Posted by simon at 12:10 PM

December 30, 2011

Tompkins County Community Impact Assessment for drilling

I've written earlier about some Tompkins County Council of Governments projections on what hydrofracking would bring to Dryden, but that was kind of the appetizers for the larger meal that's the larger Community Impact Assessment. The full assessment is 130...

Posted by simon at 8:16 PM

December 29, 2011

Definition and Determination of "Taking"

Supporters of gas drilling (and opponents of zoning) seem to enjoy calling every effort by any government anywhere to regulate land use for whatever reason a "taking". They argue that these takings must be compensated, and threaten gigantic lawsuits over...

Posted by simon at 4:32 PM

December 22, 2011

Zoning changes delayed

I went to last night's Town Board meeting expecting to watch them pass the new zoning. Despite my serious misgivings, I encouraged them to proceed. The old random zoning isn't getting any better with age. They closed the public hearing,...

Posted by simon at 9:52 AM

December 14, 2011

"important to recognize that DEC is not a land use agency"

I would love to see a DEC official state something like this, in reference to potential conflicts between state and local regulation of various kinds of mining. It is important to recognize that DEC is not a land use agency,...

Posted by simon at 11:20 AM

November 16, 2011

Comments on zoning for tonight's public hearing

I can't be at tonight's public hearing on the zoning, as I'll be at Village Hall helping out at the Dryden Town Historical Society's talk on the Southworth House. As regular readers here will know, I'm not entirely sold on...

Posted by simon at 3:55 PM

November 15, 2011

Zoning public hearing opens tomorrow night

The Town Board will open the public hearing for the proposed zoning law Wednesday night at 7:00pm, at Dryden Town Hall, 93 East Main Street. I won't be able to be there, so I'll be sending written comments. Most of...

Posted by simon at 8:35 AM

November 3, 2011

Varna Master Plan presentation

I went to last night's presentation about the Varna Master Plan project to see what they'd come up with. I liked that they didn't actually have a presentation per se, but instead had maps, drawings, posters, and people to talk...

Posted by simon at 9:18 PM

November 2, 2011

Varna hamlet plan meeting tonight

There will be a meeting at the Varna Community Center (943 Dryden Road/Route 366) tonight from 7:00pm to 8:30pm to discuss the proposed Varna Master Plan. I haven't seen it yet, so I'm totally curious about what they've come up...

Posted by simon at 11:33 AM

October 31, 2011

Drilling views of Supervisor candidates, Planning Board member

The Ithaca Journal ran viewpoint pieces from both candidates for Dryden Town Supervisor, asking them the fairly generic: "What is your assessment of the actions the Town of Dryden has taken or should take to regulate gas exploration within its...

Posted by simon at 12:50 PM

October 19, 2011

Zombie treehugging Republican Town Boards strike back

I've always wanted to write a headline like that, and I can thank the Town of Dryden Republican Committee for giving me the opportunity. Why? Because they wrote this in their Shopper insert: Negatitve effects of the proposed Zoning and...

Posted by simon at 12:54 PM

October 13, 2011

Subdivision law surfaces

I still haven't managed to read the draft zoning law posted last month, but I noted that the subdivision law had been separated and was missing. The subdivision law apparently went up last week (504KB PDF), but discussion at last...

Posted by simon at 7:14 AM

September 23, 2011

Draft zoning posted

I'd been watching the Town web site for information about the proposed zoning, but the most recent thing there was the Sound Performance Standards from April. The proposed zoning documents were from September and July 2010. On Wednesday, the Town...

Posted by simon at 7:14 PM

September 14, 2011

Anschutz announces lawsuit

They haven't actually filed it yet, so I'm guessing they bravely led with a press release, but apparently a gas company is stepping up to sue over Dryden's ban on gas drilling (Update: expanded article): Anschutz Exploration Corp. plans to...

Posted by simon at 7:04 PM

September 10, 2011

Town finances becoming rational, not derelict

The Ithaca Journal noticed "developer and Republican candidate for town supervisor" Bruno Schickel and has an article discussing his claims and the response from incumbent Democratic Town Supervisor Mary Ann Sumner. It's been a few years since I watched the...

Posted by simon at 7:18 AM

August 27, 2011

Vacationing in a nodal development paradise

When we went to visit Angelika's family in Germany, I thought of it more as a vacation than as a land use planning study. Somehow, though, once you start looking at land use in one place, it's hard to stop...

Posted by simon at 6:49 AM

July 1, 2011

So what changed?

At first glance, the DEC press release on the state's decision to allow hydrofracking didn't look very encouraging. A lot of it requires trusting the DEC to be an effective regulator - "DEC enforcement and oversight of high-volume fracturing will...

Posted by simon at 9:50 AM

June 25, 2011

Wednesday's Varna planning conversation

I only got to see a part of this, as Sungiva and Konrad had other plans and Angelika (who attends many fewer meetings than I do) had another meeting to attend. Sungiva was very interested in the ice cream social...

Posted by simon at 1:23 AM

June 23, 2011

What a hydrofracking build-out would look like

If you can stand to read another long document about hydrofracking, I strongly recommend this analysis of what a hydrofracking build out would be like (17.4MB PDF) around Cooperstown, an area not too different from here. (There's also a shorter...

Posted by simon at 12:17 PM

June 18, 2011

Ice cream and Varna planning Tuesday

I was going to post about this based on the postcard that came last week, but this description from Varna Master Plan Advisory Committee member Jim Skaley says far more. The short version: Ice Cream Social at 6:30pm, Varna planning...

Posted by simon at 4:05 PM

June 15, 2011

Drilling ban introduced; new zoning not introduced

A lot happened at tonight's Town Board meeting, and I'll need to report much more, but here's a too-quick summary. The Board introduced an ordinance that would ban natural gas drilling by amending the existing zoning, and scheduled a public...

Posted by simon at 11:02 PM

A belt and suspenders

Here's a guest viewpoint from Joe Wilson and a number of other folks from DRAC explaining - more clearly, I think, than I did - why the "high-impact industrial uses" approach is a critical component of defending Dryden from the...

Posted by simon at 12:06 PM

June 13, 2011

'Rural node' planning won't work in Tompkins

The Ithaca Journal published a Guest Viewpoint piece of mine about nodal development. Unfortunately I was away and minimizing web contact, so I'm a little late, er, reporting on my own writing. Squeezing that piece into 500 words was extremely...

Posted by simon at 8:53 PM

June 11, 2011

Hydrofracking and zoning conversations

Wednesday's agenda meeting was a dense series of conversations around zoning laws of various kinds. They started with a draft hydrofracking ban, which had by the most discussion, and then heard from Town Attorney Mahlon Perkins about the status of...

Posted by simon at 7:50 AM

June 8, 2011

Town Board agenda meeting tonight

Come join the fun at tonight's 7:30pm Dryden Town Board meeting at the (air-conditioned) Dryden Town Hall - 93 East Main Street (Route 392) in the Village of Dryden. I'll be there to get a sense of what's coming in...

Posted by simon at 5:01 PM

May 25, 2011

Seward signs on for local zoning of gas drilling

Posted by simon at 12:12 PM

May 12, 2011

Quiet Town Board zoning meeting - pass in July?

Last night's Dryden Town Board agenda and zoning meeting didn't include much detail. There was some discussion of gravel mining, leaving Planner Dan Kwasnowski to send more detailed mapping information to board members, and some discussion of how to integrate...

Posted by simon at 12:09 PM

May 11, 2011

Town Board Agenda and Zoning meeting tonight

I can't find an agenda for it on the Town website, but the calendar reports that there's an Agenda meeting tonight at 7:00pm 7:30pm at Dryden Town Hall, 93 East Main Street (Route 392) in Dryden. The Town Board page...

Posted by simon at 6:42 AM

April 21, 2011

DRAC press release

I've posted the Dryden Resource Awareness Coalition (DRAC)'s press release (33KB Word document) and accompanying photo, but here's the core of the release: DRAC announces the results of a petition drive to ban fracking, calls on the Dryden Town Board...

Posted by simon at 6:54 AM

Fracking-related actions the Town Board took last night

The Dryden Town Board passed two things last night: a sound performance standards amendment to zoning, and a resolution about drafting an amendment that "addresses land uses that would impose or threaten to impose significant adverse impacts upon the Dryden...

Posted by simon at 6:39 AM

April 15, 2011

If you don't like density and you don't like sprawl...

Every now and then a comment meant to dismiss an idea leads to something much more interesting. Wednesday night, Dryden Planning Director Dan Kwasnowski noted that he had just returned from an American Planning Association conference. As he summed it...

Posted by simon at 12:43 PM

April 9, 2011

Mount Varna gets a technicolor mailbox

First it was the teepee, and now this. I thought I was hallucinating when I drove through Varna today, but no, this mailbox does seem to be real, though wild enough for three pictures: Mount Varna mailbox from the east....

Posted by simon at 8:26 PM

April 5, 2011

Is Mount Varna stirring again?

Update: Here's the result of my FOIL request, as a set of PDF files. This one seems to be the key plan (3.4MB PDF), with more details here (1.7MB PDF). Volcanos rise and fall, and often make their neighbors unhappy....

Posted by simon at 6:55 AM

March 28, 2011

Zone names

I'm still waiting for a new draft of the zoning, but I've had a repeated conversation that seems worth noting even before a new clean draft arrives. I've had several conversations, two in the last few weeks, about what the...

Posted by simon at 12:14 PM

March 17, 2011

Energy price scenarios for evaluating zoning

I wrote earlier about different ways people evaluate zoning proposals: at the personal level and at the community level, and using forcecasts ranging from a shrinking population to a growing population. I'd like to combine those personal and community levels...

Posted by simon at 12:13 PM

March 11, 2011

Varna Planning - current status

(An update of my January report.) 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 are apparently not enough for the Town Board to be willing...

Posted by simon at 6:04 AM

March 10, 2011

Pocket Moratorium in Varna

I'm still trying to figure out what happened during last night's discussion of a moratorium on Varna development. That's not because the conversation wasn't clear, but because the decisions reached make a confusing situation even more tangled. The Board's choice...

Posted by simon at 7:25 AM

March 9, 2011

Town Board agenda/zoning meeting tonight

I'm not sure what they'll be discussing, as the agenda page still shows February and there's nothing new on the proposed zoning page. It does look, though, like the Dryden Town Board will be meeting tonight at 7:30pm at Town...

Posted by simon at 8:47 AM

March 8, 2011

More on Varna moratorium, growth

This morning's Ithaca Journal examines prospects for a moratorium on development in Varna while the Master Plan is underway. Yesterday, I reported a bit on the residents' petition. What's new here is some perspective from Dryden Planning Director Dan Kwasnowski:...

Posted by simon at 6:51 AM

March 7, 2011

Petition for Varna moratorium

I reported about a month ago that the Town of Dryden is getting ready to develop a Varna Master Plan over the next few months, spending about $70,000 to address one of the most criticized aspects of the proposed zoning....

Posted by simon at 6:50 AM

March 5, 2011

So if not nodal development...

My last piece on nodal development felt like a demolition, throwing an idea meant for urban areas out of the rural planning conversation. (I doubt its supporters feel I succeeded, but that's normal.) The question that always comes after demolition,...

Posted by simon at 6:35 AM

March 2, 2011

Not (nearly) big enough for nodes

When I first started going to meetings about the Tompkins County Comprehensive Plan, the idea of building on existing transportation nodes seemed sensible and appealing, at least when compared to scattering houses across the landscape. As I've learned more about...

Posted by simon at 5:12 PM

February 11, 2011

Current state of zoning

The Town Board's agenda meeting didn't finish until 9:00pm Wednesday, so the zoning discussion was kind of late and rushed, ending around 10:15pm. Most of the substantial discussion was about mining - gravel and topsoil - and I think in...

Posted by simon at 5:57 PM

February 9, 2011

Town Board discussing more zoning tonight

I'm way late in posting this, but if you have a chance, tonight's the Dryden Town Board's monthly agenda and zoning meeting. It starts at 7:30pm at the Dryden Town Hall, 93 East Main Street (Route 392), Dryden. The agenda...

Posted by simon at 4:07 PM

February 1, 2011

Return to Nineteenth-Century Patterns

Again, a very different fictional scenario to consider in the light of planning land use for the next few decades. (fiction) The economy was just about to turn the corner, and then... oil prices climbed to new records, bringing $10...

Posted by simon at 7:42 AM

January 31, 2011

Overwhelming demand

This fictional scenario is very different from yesterday's quiet scenario; it's about as far as I can easily imagine development going in twenty years, multiplying the town's population by about 2.5 by 2030. It's based on a highly optimistic Upstate...

Posted by simon at 8:21 AM

January 30, 2011

Zoning disputes echoing in the quiet...

I had some good response to my previous fictional forecast of what might happen with zoning, and think it's worth publishing a few more of these. This one seems to fit a quiet Sunday morning very well. Part of the...

Posted by simon at 7:44 AM

January 29, 2011

"He doesn't take care of his properties"

and that's a good thing, or so I keep hearing from too many people whose judgement I didn't think was otherwise broken. If you talk with residents of Varna or just people who drive through regularly, the decaying appearance of...

Posted by simon at 6:31 AM

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...

Posted by simon at 7:27 PM

Route 13 needs and dangers

I have about fifteen Living in Dryden stories bouncing in my head wanting to come out, and no time to write them. For now, here's a quick catch-up with the Ithaca Journal. Can you help a veteran? The new VA...

Posted by simon at 7:50 AM

January 20, 2011

Evaluating Zoning

For the last few years, I've watched officials and residents evaluating various drafts of the zoning law and listened to them talk about it. There seem to be two different tracks for evaluating it: a personal track and a community...

Posted by simon at 9:06 PM

January 19, 2011

One plausible scenario for excessive development along 13

I've not had much luck, apparently, convincing the Town Board that the proposed "let's allow 10 units/acre in any commercial zone in Dryden with water and sewer and string those zones along 13" is a bad idea. My guess is...

Posted by simon at 5:02 PM

January 12, 2011

Town Board meeting tonight at 7:30, not 7:00

I just learned (thanks to Jason Leifer) that tonight's Dryden Town Board Agenda and Zoning meeting will start at 7:30pm, not 7:00pm. Here's the agenda: Call Meeting to Order Roll Call Discussion Items Role of ZBA (and PB) Alternates Oakbrook...

Posted by simon at 4:07 PM

January 4, 2011

Dryden's version of the Civil War (zoning)

No, no - I'm not talking about the current conversations about zoning. Retiring Dryden Zoning Officer Henry Slater tells a rich story of the recent Dryden past in the December Town Newsletter, (1.4MB PDF) including this discussion of zoning: I...

Posted by simon at 5:22 PM

Lucente ZBA hearing cancelled

Back on December 7th, the Zoning Board of Appeals deferred action on the Lucente Varna II appeal until January 11th, to address some concerns about the appeal and especially its environmental review. That's now apparently cancelled, because of a procedural...

Posted by simon at 12:25 PM

December 29, 2010

Building Communities with Farms

While most of my concerns so far with the proposed zoning have had to do with complexity or density, another concern keeps nagging at me. A key reason we're updating the zoning, something discussed as long as I've been in...

Posted by simon at 12:42 PM

December 8, 2010

Town Board discussing zoning - density - tonight

The Town Board's last zoning discussion was pretty busy, so hopefully we'll see more of the same this cold night. Apparently, they'll be discussing density tonight, section 600, though I don't think they'd reached that point last month. Commercial zones...

Posted by simon at 4:40 PM

December 7, 2010

ZBA meets for six minutes, defers action on Varna II

Driving to Town Hall took longer than the meeting did. After Henry Slater, Dryden's retiring Zoning Officer, thanked the Zoning Board of Appeals and they thanked him (with applause from the crowd), Attorney Kristin Gutenberger asked the ZBA not to...

Posted by simon at 8:31 PM

Selling a Development Vision

The Route 13/366 Corridor Study, for all its flaws, attempts to sell a vision of Dryden. One key piece that it tries to sell is a new "nodal development" east of the NYSEG building, along the 13/366 intersection. The description...

Posted by simon at 11:56 AM

December 6, 2010

The Route 13/366 Corridor Study and the Proposed Commercial Zone

When it appeared, I pretty much loathed the Route 13/366 Corridor Study. It was a zoning plan that pretended to be about traffic, with an outcome I think I can describe as predetermined at best by the dreams of the...

Posted by simon at 4:56 PM

"I urge you to reject this appeal"

Dear members of the Town of Dryden Zoning Board of Appeals, I re-read Lucente Development's appeal to you for a reduced acreage requirement on a Planned Unit Development. If you knew nothing about the state of Dryden's zoning beyond what's...

Posted by simon at 12:15 PM

December 3, 2010

Varna master plan getting started

Tuesday night's meeting at the Varna Community focused mostly on developing a plan for Varna, not Lucente's Varna II proposal, though there was some of that. Environmental Planner Dan Kwasnowski and consultant Michael Welti of Behan Planning Associates led the...

Posted by simon at 7:54 AM

November 30, 2010

Hard questions on hydrofracking

Dryden Daily KAZ has posted some hard questions about banning hydrofracking after reading a Dryden Resource Awareness Coalition petition. It's well worth reading - go read it before reading more of this. Breaking down the issue using the same categories:...

Posted by simon at 12:43 PM

Lucente appealing Varna II to ZBA December 7th

Steve Lucente apparently didn't like the rejection the Town gave his application for a 260-unit development in Varna, and is appealing it to the the Town's Zoning Board of Appeals. They'll be meeting December 7th at 7:30pm at Dryden Town...

Posted by simon at 12:39 PM

November 29, 2010

Varna planning meeting Wednesday

Three pretty different announcements tell a similar story. As the Town of Dryden site puts it: There will be a special Planning Board meeting on December 1st at the Varna Community Center to discuss the initial plan for creating a...

Posted by simon at 8:11 AM

November 20, 2010

Comparing Neighborhood and Rural Residential

I just added Neighborhood Residential to the zone comparison chart, but how do the new (November) Neighborhood Residential and Rural Residential compare to the prior (July) Rural Residential? The table below lists all the uses and provides columns for the...

Posted by simon at 12:41 AM

November 19, 2010

Updated Zoning Draft use comparisons

Back in July, I put together a comparison chart for permitted uses in the existing and proposed zoning. This month, the Town split the previous Rural Residential to create an extra zone called Neighborhood Residential. The definitions for the two...

Posted by simon at 11:46 PM

November 13, 2010

Are traffic lights on 13 inevitable?

Target #1 in my discussion of the proposed 'Commercial' zone has been traffic. The Dryden Town Historical Society has a great picture of the western intersection of Routes 13 and 366 when 'new' 13 had just opened. 366 had a...

Posted by simon at 7:28 PM

November 11, 2010

Library construction, zoning discussion

The Ithaca Journal had a nice piece on the expansion of the Southworth Library, and posted a photo gallery of the current state of things. There's also an article on last night's zoning conversation. It starts by focusing in on...

Posted by simon at 9:12 PM

Why is the proposed Commercial zone a cancer?

I used some fairly harsh words about the proposed Commercial zone last night - 'wretched' and 'cancerous' being the ones I most remember. Why would I have such a problem with a zone we obviously need? The basic question, I...

Posted by simon at 9:04 PM

November 8, 2010

More zoning discussion Wednesday

Just a quick note that the Dryden Town Board will be continuing its discussion of the proposed zoning ordinance this Wednesday, November 10th, at Town Hall. They discuss zoning after the agenda meeting, which means they start talking about it...

Posted by simon at 10:29 AM

October 14, 2010

Town Board's second zoning conversation

The Town Board tackled zoning again last night. I'm happy to report that more people were there to watch - six of us plus a WHCU reporter. We all strained to hear, I'm afraid, but fortunately the board distributed copies...

Posted by simon at 9:45 PM

October 11, 2010

Zoning on Agenda Meeting Agenda

The Dryden Town Board will be discussing the zoning proposal this Wednesday at 8:00pm at Dryden Town Hall. They'll be holding their regular meeting to set the agenda for the October 13th meeting from 7:00pm to 8:00pm, then switching gears....

Posted by simon at 8:11 AM

September 14, 2010

Rural Residential

While I've always liked the "big table" of uses at the front of the draft zoning law, figuring out what any given zone actually means requires wandering all over the document to find various parts and assemble them. As such...

Posted by simon at 8:43 PM

September 10, 2010

From the Comp Plan to the Draft Zoning

While the zoning process is sort of technically the "implementation of the Comprehensive Plan", there are many changes from the 2005 Comprehensive Plan to the 2010 Draft Zoning. Some of that is to be expected, but I think it's still...

Posted by simon at 11:13 PM

Journal reports on zoning process

I know I haven't had much kind to say about the Ithaca Journal lately, but Rachel Stern really hits one out of the park with her report on Wednesday's Town Board meeting on zoning. I'd written that: the only other...

Posted by simon at 5:15 PM

September 9, 2010

Comparing existing zoning to proposed - setbacks

Posted by simon at 8:31 AM

September 8, 2010

Town Board starts exploring zoning

As they'd said they would, the Dryden Town Board took on the proposed local zoning law tonight. I'd misheard Supervisor Mary Ann Sumner's homework assignment - she didn't want to discuss setbacks tonight, but wanted to make sure board members...

Posted by simon at 11:24 PM

August 30, 2010

The curse of water and sewer

When I was buying my house, there was a small problem. The mortgage folks wanted a water test, and we hadn't done one. Why hadn't we done one? Because although the house has a well, it only goes to the...

Posted by simon at 8:45 PM

Another zoning boundary case

Near the end of the July meeting on the proposed zoning, builder Bruno Schickel asked why the tables in Sections 605 and 606 set a limit of four units per acre on individual single-family homes. Other approaches in those tables,...

Posted by simon at 5:03 PM

August 28, 2010

Why would you want to ban the corner grocery?

The closer I look at Dryden zoning - both the existing zoning and the proposed zoning - the more I wonder about the value of zoning. I recognize that it's a compromise, meant to keep people with no interest in...

Posted by simon at 7:47 PM

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...

Posted by simon at 8:24 PM

August 10, 2010

Commercial real estate hangovers

As I drive around Tompkins County, whether in downtown Ithaca, Triphammer Road, or along Route 13 in Dryden, I keep seeing "for rent" signs on commercial buildings. Some of that has to do with the economic downturn, some has to...

Posted by simon at 5:20 PM

August 2, 2010

Journal on draft Zoning moving to Town Board

Saturday's Ithaca Journal had a brief piece on last Thursday's Planning Board meeting where the Planning Board moved the new zoning draft to the Town Board, with recommendations for improvements and a process that includes multiple boards: More work is...

Posted by simon at 12:22 PM

July 29, 2010

Planning Board moves zoning to Town Board's responsibility

I'll have more on tonight's Planning Board meeting, but the main action happened in the first five minutes. The Planning Board voted to send the draft zoning to the Town Board, with recommendations that a master plan for Varna be...

Posted by simon at 8:08 PM

July 26, 2010

Should the zoning advance from the Planning Board to the Town Board?

As I think is pretty clear by now, I'm not a fan of the latest zoning proposal. Last Thursday's meeting made it clear that even the people most looking forward to new zoning aren't delighted. The Planning Board votes Thursday...

Posted by simon at 12:17 PM

Comparing Existing Zoning to Proposed - Allowed Uses

Update: I've created an updated version of this table that includes the new Neighborhood Residential zone. One of the more frustrating aspects of the zoning conversation is that a lot of people think we're going from "not very" zoning to...

Posted by simon at 8:54 AM

July 24, 2010

Contentious zoning meeting

The Ithaca Journal reports this morning on Thursday night's zoning meeting , giving it the ominous headline "Dryden zoning issue spurs death threat". The Cortland Standard also reported, oddly noting the comment that ended with the threat without mentioning the...

Posted by simon at 6:04 AM

July 23, 2010

Most to least acceptable uses

Posted by simon at 4:54 PM

A corridor of lumpy sprawl

When I first looked over the new draft of the proposed zoning law, I expected not to love the hamlet zoning. The response to the Lucente proposal had been much more eager than I was happy about, and I wasn't...

Posted by simon at 12:23 PM

Not much support for current zoning draft at public meeting

Last night's public meeting on the new draft of the zoning law was pretty different from the meetings (1 2) on the earlier draft. While the earlier meetings had included a fair number of "we need this zoning" and...

Posted by simon at 7:06 AM

July 22, 2010

Zoning meeting tonight, 7pm

You can see the new draft zoning proposals on the Town website, and there will be a meeting to discuss them this tonight, July 22nd, at 7:00pm at the Dryden Town Hall, 93 East Main Street (Route 392), in Dryden....

Posted by simon at 8:28 AM

July 21, 2010

Zoning map change here - OTNDOs

Update: Per Dan's comment below, a new map has arrived (PDF version). The OTNDOs appear to be the Etna hamlet core and some areas east and south of the Village of Dryden. The McLean area doesn't have it marked, and...

Posted by simon at 1:37 PM

A different approach to zoning Varna

While I've been marveling at the awfulness of the broad hamlet zoning proposed in the second draft of the law, Jim Skaley's been developing a proposal that does more than say "revert back to the first draft." Skaley saw the...

Posted by simon at 8:14 AM

July 20, 2010

Many changes to the hamlet and commercial zoning

In an earlier post, I wrote that: The hamlet zoning density blasted up from a little over four to as much as ten units per acre, while still specifying, well, little vision for what a hamlet should look like. They...

Posted by simon at 12:44 PM

Hamlet and commercial zone map changes

I was writing a larger piece about the changes to the hamlet and commercial zones in the latest release of the proposed Town of Dryden zoning law, but I realized that the map changes are big enough to be worth...

Posted by simon at 12:03 PM

Zoning meeting Thursday night, 7pm

You can see the new draft zoning proposals on the Town website, and there will be a meeting to discuss them this Thursday, July 22nd, at 7:00pm at the Dryden Town Hall, 93 East Main Street (Route 392), in Dryden....

Posted by simon at 7:46 AM

Varna 20-20

Varna residents came together a few times over the last few weeks to outline a vision for the hamlet. This document is the result of the June 21st meeting, and was sent out to all participants. It's a worthy addition...

Posted by simon at 7:35 AM

New Varna II news in "two to three weeks"

This morning's Journal finally notices the Varna development conversations of the last few months. The biggest news in it is that there's a possible date by which we might learn something new about the evolving proposal. Well, not exactly a...

Posted by simon at 7:15 AM

July 19, 2010

Past planning in Varna

I just had a very strange conversation that started with a complaint that Varna residents hadn't spent enough time discussing the future of the hamlet. That shocked me almost as much as someone else's claim that dense development was what...

Posted by simon at 12:07 PM

So how did we get to "nodal development"?

If putting dense-ish semi-suburban developments outside of cities is a bad idea, and creating them requires deeply disruptive cataclysmic change, how did we come to a point where nodal development seems like a great idea to mostly well-intentioned people in...

Posted by simon at 9:00 AM

July 18, 2010

Gradual Money and Cataclysmic Money

While most of the rest of Jane Jacobs' The Death and Life of Great American Cities is indeed about cities, there's another factor she discusses in urban contexts that also fits in suburban contexts. Money - both the lack and...

Posted by simon at 1:37 PM

July 16, 2010

The challenges of "in-between densities"

Density is a strange word, especially as a description of human settlement. It's a planner's abstraction, a quick way of saying how many houses, apartments, or sometimes people are placed in an area. After decades of Americans seeking out places...

Posted by simon at 12:06 PM

July 15, 2010

General thoughts on the new draft zoning for the Town of Dryden

I've had a few people over the past few days ask me something like "you don't really like the new draft zoning, do you?" In general, I'm afraid they're right. I didn't think the previous draft was perfect, but I...

Posted by simon at 5:11 PM

July 13, 2010

The War on Woodshops continues

as well as the war on selling eggs from your house. Rural residential zones seem to be designed for a very quiet vision of suburbia. Update: clarification of accessory uses and the separation of the most restricted approach into the...

Posted by simon at 8:18 AM

July 9, 2010

New draft zoning posted

Just in time for the weekend, the Town has posted new drafts of the zoning ordinance and map. There will be a public meeting to discuss them at the Dryden Town Hall, 93 East Main Street (Route 392), in Dryden...

Posted by simon at 4:46 PM

July 8, 2010

First Impressions of last night's Varna meeting

Last night's meeting at the Varna Community Center to discuss Stephen Lucente's plans for development was one of the strangest meetings I've ever attended. I don't think it was just the heat. A few of the highlights, from my definitely...

Posted by simon at 8:08 AM

July 2, 2010

Planning Board Minutes Relevant to the Varna II Proposal

I mentioned earlier that I really like having public meeting minutes available on the town website. Among those minutes are Planning Board minutes. Much as I like having minutes available, sometimes it's easier to gather pieces about one subject into...

Posted by simon at 5:11 PM

June 30, 2010

Tompkins Weekly on Varna development

Reporter Nick Babel was at last Monday's meeting about development in Varna. The resulting article gets to a lot of the points raised, though most of the details come out quoted to me, and not to the many people who...

Posted by simon at 2:01 PM

June 24, 2010

Tompkins County embarking on housing binge?

I'm really marveling - gasping for air, actually - at this bit in an article on West Hill fire response: Town board member Rich DePaolo asked how an increase of 4,000 residents around the hospital would affect calls for service,...

Posted by simon at 5:14 PM

June 22, 2010

Varna discusses its future

Last night, around 40 residents of Varna (and the Dryden Town Supervisor) gave up a gorgeous evening and came together to discuss what the future of the hamlet might look like. The meeting was preparation for a July 7th meeting...

Posted by simon at 6:49 PM

June 21, 2010


Here's the text of the mailing sent out about tonight's discussion of a vision for Varna: CHANGE IS COMING READ THIS LETTER & COME TO A MEETING FOR VARNA RESIDENTS AND BUSINESS OWNERS MONDAY JUNE 21 7 P.M THIS IS...

Posted by simon at 6:46 AM

June 17, 2010

Business comes from the road

Recent planning conversations, notably the 13/366 Corridor Study, the draft Dryden zoning, and more recent discussions of Varna, seem to suggest that popularly requested businesses - grocery stores, pharmacies, the ever-popular dream of a 24-hour diner, and similar retail -...

Posted by simon at 11:08 PM

A nodal development surprise

I went to do some more research on nodal development, and was surprised to find it didn't have a Wikipedia entry. The closely related Smart Growth, New Urbanism, and Transit-Oriented Development all have entries... So I tried Google. Much to...

Posted by simon at 8:23 PM

June 16, 2010

"retirees... all look so young"

Today's Ithaca Journal reports on the farewell given 24 retirees from the Dryden schools who accepted an early retirement package. There's mention of the redemption of a foreclosed parcel that had worried neighbors. Next door in the Town of Ithaca,...

Posted by simon at 11:51 AM

June 15, 2010

It's hard to be a neighborhood

When you get people talking about community, you pretty much always hear the magical word "neighborhood", often strengthened as "real neighborhood". Neighborhoods are tricky to create, whether in a city or, as in Dryden, strung out along roads or clustered...

Posted by simon at 5:20 PM

June 3, 2010

Land preservation gone wrong

So developers promised to keep a chunk of land undeveloped, set up a non-profit to do so, and then vanished, without bothering to pay the taxes. The county eventually foreclosed on it, and now the county is preparing to auction...

Posted by simon at 8:35 AM

May 19, 2010

DRAC to present petitions; school budgets pass

The Dryden Resource Awareness Coalition will be presenting petitions on zoning home rule and industrial noise to the Town Board tonight, having gathered 452 on noise and 389 on zoning. In a town of around 13,000 residents, that's a lot...

Posted by simon at 6:48 AM

May 9, 2010

Planners and Developers as Special Interest Group

I was disappointed to find that Andres Duany, one of the writers of Suburban Nation, a book that had inspired me to rethink my views on planning years ago, has fallen into the trap of thinking that his building projects...

Posted by simon at 2:02 PM

April 26, 2010

Another vision for Varna: The Varna Community and Commercial Revitalization Plan

Back in 1999 and 2000, the Varna Community Association was looking ahead to how their hamlet should look, setting concrete goals that described their hopes. As I mentioned earlier, some parts of that plan have only just recently come to...

Posted by simon at 11:15 PM

April 20, 2010

One vision for Varna: The 2005 Comprehensive Plan

One of the strangest things anyone has said to me in the conversations about the proposed Varna II development is "Haven't you read the comprehensive plan? It's all there." I was too startled to really respond about just how wrong...

Posted by simon at 5:32 PM

April 1, 2010

My zoning comments

Reviewing the draft zoning law and assembling comments took a lot longer than I'd planned (and yes, this is really only two pages in print). I'll expand on this further here in more postings, but I'd definitely be curious what...

Posted by simon at 12:43 PM

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. Opponents of...

Posted by simon at 7:57 AM

March 20, 2010

Zoning meeting Monday night in Varna

If you're interested in the future of the Town of Dryden, this second zoning meeting is definitely worth attending: A Public Workshop will be held on March 22, 2010 at 7 PM at the Varna Community Center on the Draft...

Posted by simon at 9:01 AM

February 20, 2010

In other development news

Builder Bruno Schickel doesn't like the zoning proposal the Town is considering. Did he miss the last twenty years or so of conversation that led to the 2005 Comprehensive Plan? These aren't new issues, and the zoning draft actually softens...

Posted by simon at 3:28 PM

Where would Varna II go?

I've had a few people ask me where exactly these 260 units would go, so I pulled out some aerial photos from April 2005 that show the site. I wasn't so good with the camera that I got the entire...

Posted by simon at 10:37 AM

February 19, 2010

Is 260 units legal?

I was reviewing the old Varna II environmental impact statement, created by Lucente Development for an earlier iteration of this project in 2000. I was a little startled to find, on page 22 of Volume I, this statement: "[Section 803.5...

Posted by simon at 1:55 PM

New Varna II much denser than earlier proposal

Ten years ago, Varna residents fought hard against a 170-unit proposal. Last night, Stephen Lucente unveiled a a 260-unit proposal for the same area, apparently indifferent to the work of the project's neighbors and other Town residents that had gone...

Posted by simon at 7:34 AM

February 18, 2010

260 units over Varna?

Developer Stephen Lucente and his engineer Lawrence Fabbroni came to the Dryden Planning Board to have an initial conversation about their proposal for building a new development on the southern hillside above Varna along Route 366, running behind the existing...

Posted by simon at 9:35 PM

January 27, 2010

Zoning meeting extremely busy

I'm not sure what the official count was, but I'm pretty certain over 100 Dryden residents came to Town Hall last night for the opening special meeting on the new zoning law. There wasn't enough parking, even. It was a...

Posted by simon at 9:34 PM

January 25, 2010

Zoning meeting Tuesday night

If you're interested in the future of the Town of Dryden, this is a meeting well worth attending: A Public Workshop will be held on January 26, 2010 at 7 PM at Town Hall (snow date the 27th) on the...

Posted by simon at 11:22 AM

October 16, 2009

Gearing up for zoning

Almost a year ago, the Dryden Planning Board had a big overview meeting about upcoming zoning changes. It was fairly abstract, as they hadn't yet arrived at the details that make zoning conversations difficult. Last night, the Planning Board reconvened,...

Posted by simon at 12:34 PM

November 24, 2008

Zoning coming up

This morning's Ithaca Journal reports on the public meeting the Planning Board held last Thursday to discuss upcoming changes to Dryden's zoning laws. Zoning meeting. Much of the meeting was background, discussing the already-written Comprehensive Plan and residential and commercial...

Posted by simon at 5:27 PM

September 30, 2008

County Planning Energy Meeting October 1st

The Tompkins County Planning Department will be holding a meeting about the "Energy and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Element" of their County Comprehensive Plan tomorrow night. The meeting will be tomorrow, October 1st, at 6:30pm at the Dryden Town Hall, 93...

Posted by simon at 1:01 PM

June 27, 2008

Traffic meeting in Varna Monday night

Concerned about the impact of traffic on Route 366? I am. Here's a chance to talk about it. Later this month, residents will have a chance to learn about findings of a transportation study of the Route 13/366 corridor, as...

Posted by simon at 9:12 AM

June 3, 2008

County Energy Plan meeting Thursday

I meant to post this earlier - I don't yet know if I can make it. Given my lack of trust for county planning, I probably should... JUNE 5TH PUBLIC MEETING ABOUT ENERGY AND GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS COMPREHENSIVE PLAN ELEMENT...

Posted by simon at 7:27 PM

May 17, 2008

Getting to Nodal Development in Dryden

[Update: I no longer think this is a good idea. See the category listing for more information on why. This piece in particular is a concise summary.] [This is long - it's a complex subject and a couple of years...

Posted by simon at 4:32 PM

November 13, 2007

Some final thoughts on the 13/366 Corridor Study

While sorting through the piles of paper that accumulated during election season, I found my printouts of the Route 13/366 Corridor Study, and remembered that I'd promised long ago to write up my concluding thoughts at the end of a...

Posted by simon at 12:19 PM

October 3, 2007

Reading the Route 13/366 study

I finally got to sit down and read the Route 13/366 Corridor Management Plan last night. After disliking the initial visions presented, wondering if and when the report would ever appear, and then finding the opening of the plan discouraging,...

Posted by simon at 8:44 PM

September 21, 2007

Corridor Study updated

I complained a while ago about the disappearing Route 13/366 Corridor Study. I see today that a Route 13/366 Corridor Study that looks very different from what we saw at the public meeting has finally gone up on the Tompkins...

Posted by simon at 12:03 PM

September 12, 2007

Disappearing corridor study?

I've heard bits and pieces about changes to the Route 13/366 Corridor Study, but there's no sign of activity on the project's web site. I believe that they've talked with the Dryden Planning Board about a revised draft that does...

Posted by simon at 12:43 PM

July 10, 2007

Local Iraq war perspective

This morning's Journal has a letter from David and Christine Bravo-Cullen of Dryden, reporting their daughter's perspective on what's happening in Iraq. The Monitor reports on a Dryden man's arrest in Ithaca for DWI. There are also a few stories...

Posted by simon at 5:33 PM

June 25, 2007

NYSEG helicopters will buzz

If you see helicopters prowling around Dryden Tuesday or Wednesday, they're probably part of NYSEG's power line inspection. Also in Briefly in Tompkins, the Intergenerational Chorus will start rehearsals tonight, and the band will start Wednesday. The county adopted a...

Posted by simon at 6:44 AM

May 12, 2007

Is strengthening Varna possible?

I've criticized the Route 13/366 Corridor Study for ignoring the existing Varna node in favor of looking further east, around NYSEG. Based on conversations I had at their April presentation, it seems pretty clear that the planners automatically removed all...

Posted by simon at 12:04 PM

Three experiences with plans

Since I started paying attention in Dryden, I've had the chance to participate (as an interested and sometimes cranky citizen) on three different planning-related projects: The Town of Dryden Comprehensive Plan, The Cornell-Town of Ithaca Transportation Generic Environmental Impact Statement,...

Posted by simon at 9:42 AM

May 11, 2007

Town Board sees 12:20am

The Town Board meeting stretched past midnight last night, for the first time that I can remember. It was a long meeting, though actually more focused than many recent meetings, and fortunately they took a five minute break at one...

Posted by simon at 8:43 AM

April 28, 2007

Cornell t-GEIS study looks at roads

Back on the 18th of April, the Cornell Transportation-General Environmental Impact Study (t-GEIS) held an open house event much like the one they held in May. While the one in May started with a clean slate of maps, this one...

Posted by simon at 4:24 PM

April 25, 2007

Wow. Awful plan.

People in Dryden frequently complain when you threaten to put a trail across their property. I was happy tonight to see that the Route 13/366 Corridor Study plan shows a new trail going across my lot, something I'd never have...

Posted by simon at 10:31 PM

April 14, 2007

Development on 13

It's been a busy couple of days, and this article is playing catch-up. Yesterday's Ithaca Journal reported on Thursday's Dryden Town Board meeting, including the questions over Advanced Design Consulting's plans to move from Lansing to a much larger facility...

Posted by simon at 10:39 PM

February 3, 2007

Organizing for zoning, Village caucus results

I didn't get to covering yesterday's Ithaca Journal - it was just too busy a day! There was an article exploring how the Town of Dryden plans to coordinate its many stakeholding boards for the zoning process. The current plan...

Posted by simon at 10:36 AM

January 12, 2007

New Town Board in action

I missed the Dryden Town Board organizational meeting, so last night was the first time I got to see the newest version of the Board together. Newcomer David Makar joins Marty Christofferson, Steve Trumbull, Steve Stelick, and Mary Ann Sumner...

Posted by simon at 8:48 AM

May 25, 2006

County presents on Natural Features Focus Areas

On Tuesday night, the Tompkins County Planning Department gave a presentation on their Natural Features Focus Areas project at the McLean Fire Hall. I'd guess thirty people were there. The session examined eight of the fifteen focus areas, mostly wetlands...

Posted by simon at 6:48 AM

May 13, 2006

Better Housing presents, collects ideas

Better Housing for Tompkins County gave a presentation on Tuesday night in Etna looking at housing issues, and the challenges of creating housing people can afford in Tompkins County. Turnout was light - there were three attendees and three Better...

Posted by simon at 10:07 AM

May 8, 2006

Better Housing meeting Tuesday evening in Etna

Better Housing for Tompkins County will be having a meeting Tuesday night at Houtz Hall in Etna (map) from 6:00pm to 7:30pm. One of the organizers, Abi Munro, wrote a description of what will be talked about for the Ithaca...

Posted by simon at 5:47 PM

May 6, 2006

A legal perspective on windmills

Last week, I published Town Attorney Mahlon Perkins' opinion on windmills. It turns out that the attorney for the Zoning Board of Appeals, Randy Marcus, also wrote a letter to the Town Board on the subject (110KB PDF, 156KB selectable)....

Posted by simon at 4:07 PM

May 5, 2006

Waiting for wind

Last week I stopped in to talk with Carol Schmook and Ken Jupiter, whose plans to put a 10 kW windmill on their property at the corner of Baker Hill Road and Mount Pleasant Road came to a sudden halt...

Posted by simon at 7:12 AM

May 1, 2006

Oil prices and Dryden

I've written a few times about what impact rising gas prices might have on Dryden, but it looks like we're now going to be getting used to $3.00 gas that was just speculation two years ago. Energy Secretary Sam Bodman...

Posted by simon at 9:58 PM

April 21, 2006

Freeville couple continues cruising after fire

This morning's Ithaca Journal visits Margie and George Malepe, who continue to enjoy cruises despite a fire on board a cruise they were taking last month. They're planning to take their seventh cruise sometime in the future. The Monitor reports...

Posted by simon at 7:52 AM

April 20, 2006

Town Attorney Perkins tilts at residential windmill 'fad'

I published Environmental Planner Dan Kwasnowski's proposed alternative energy ordinance and accompanying explanation last week, but I wasn't aware that the Town Attorney, Mahlon Perkins, had also weighed in with his opinion. It's not a particularly legal opinion - it's...

Posted by simon at 5:40 PM

April 18, 2006

Housing and immigation issues

This morning's Ithaca Journal examines the county's affordable housing problems in much greater depth than a confusing earlier article. The basic problem is simple: The study found that the median price of a single-family home rose from $92,000 in 1998...

Posted by simon at 7:35 AM

April 10, 2006

Alternative energy discussion at Town Board Thursday

Apparently last week's Zoning Board of Appeals meeting went much longer than usual, with one of the issues a request for a variance to put a residential windmill at a house on Mount Pleasant. They couldn't grant it, because the...

Posted by simon at 8:06 AM

February 21, 2006

Soil survey maps

There's a lot of discussion of soil types at Town Hall. Soil types affect everything from agriculture to septic tank placement to erosion and runoff. The Town of Dryden Comprehensive Plan includes Map 4-1, Natural Constraints to Development (1.9MB PDF),...

Posted by simon at 8:34 AM

November 15, 2005

Planning, downtown and on borders

There's not a lot of specifically Dryden news, but County Legislator Mike Lane is mentioned in the Cayuga Green tax abatements discussion: IDA Chairman and County Legislator Michael Lane requested a breakdown of financial assumptions and projections by the project's...

Posted by simon at 8:01 AM

October 15, 2005

Comp plan, speed limits, flu

This morning's Ithaca Journal reports on Thursday night's Town Board meeting, where the comprehensive plan passed with modification to the trails. The Journal also notes that the New York State Department of Transportation will be reducing speed limits on Route...

Posted by simon at 2:15 PM

October 13, 2005

Town Board approves Comprehensive Plan

After some discussion, the Dryden Town Board approved the Comprehensive Plan tonight, minus the "spiderweb" of additional trails added in September. At the end of the meeting, the board considered both the State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) and the plan,...

Posted by simon at 10:14 PM

October 11, 2005

Comprehensive Plan vote Thursday

This morning's Ithaca Journal front-pages Thursday night's Town Board vote on the Town Comprehensive Plan. The article mentions the eminent domain controversy which appeared in a letter to the editor last month. Supervisor Steve Trumbull says on the trails that:...

Posted by simon at 8:43 AM

October 9, 2005

Looking forward to the economy of the 2010s

Unlike Dryden's 1968 General Plan or the currently proposed Comprehensive Plan, both of which looked at the recent past and projected change (and responses to change) based on more of the same, another plan for Tompkins County considers a future...

Posted by simon at 3:53 PM

Looking forward to the economy of the 1970s

It's been a while since I wrote about the 1968 General Plan, but I've finally scanned in the section on the local economy. You can read it in clearer (1125KB PDF) or selectable form (1035KB PDF). Dryden in 1968 had...

Posted by simon at 1:30 PM

October 3, 2005

Foxglove and Wizards

This week's Dryden Courier leads with stories on Freeville's Foxglove Bed & Breakfast, which has been in business since 1997, and the upcoming visit of the Harlem Wizards to take on a team of Dryden school staff and coaches. The...

Posted by simon at 7:36 PM

September 25, 2005

Town Board meeting conflicts

I was planning to spend this weekend catching up on a number of stories, but instead wound up resting (for the first time in too long), painting and fixing storm windows, and replacing my windshield wiper blades after a chunk...

Posted by simon at 8:46 PM

July 24, 2005

Construction and planning

This week's Dryden Courier comes folded very strangely, to accomodate an "Ithaca Times Menu Guide" that I suspect was sized for the larger Ithaca Times. Inside, though, there's plenty of information. There's an in-depth look at the summer construction at...

Posted by simon at 9:12 AM

July 18, 2005

Tom Hatfield explains Coalition for Change

I've wondered a bit about the Tompkins County Coalition for Change, not having been able to find much about it. Tom Hatfield, the Dryden Republican Committee chairman and the apparent spokesman for the group, was on WHCU this morning to...

Posted by simon at 8:39 PM

July 17, 2005

Comprehensive Plan debated at public hearing

Thursday night's public hearing on the proposed Town Comprehensive Plan demonstrated residents' concerns and hopes for these guidelines for future development in the Town of Dryden. The first speaker, after Supervisor Steve Trumbull had opened the hearing, noting that this...

Posted by simon at 10:35 PM

July 10, 2005

Public hearing on Comprehensive Plan Thursday

This Thursday's Town Board meeting will start with a 7:00pm public hearing about the Comprehensive Plan that's been coming through the Planning Board for the past few years. The Comprehensive Plan lays out the proposed future for the town for...

Posted by simon at 9:54 PM

April 26, 2005

Two extra Town Board meetings

The Dryden Town Board will have two extra meetings in the next couple of weeks. The first will be Thursday night, in joint session with the Planning Board. The Planning Board will have two subdivision public hearings at 7:00pm and...

Posted by simon at 7:43 AM

March 21, 2005


This morning's Ithaca Journal spends its editorial on the difficulties of sustainable power including hydropower and wind. It doesn't mention Dryden, but in some ways it echoes recent resistance to windmills here. Planner George Frantz, who has been the consultant...

Posted by simon at 2:52 PM

March 19, 2005

Planning Board recommends Comprehensive Plan

The Planning Board sent the Draft Comprehensive Plan to the Town Board on Thursday night, voting 6-0 to send it forward. Unlike the public hearing, the board didn't take public input this time, instead focusing on earlier comments. Apart from...

Posted by simon at 4:40 PM

Windmills? Maybe not

This week's Dryden Courier leads with an article on the windmills Cornell has proposed building on Mount Pleasant, which could provide 10-15% of the university's electricity. Neighbors are less than happy, and the Courier reports that 15 of them signed...

Posted by simon at 8:46 AM

March 7, 2005

Openings on Youth Commission, ZBA

In this morning's Ithaca Journal, Briefly in Tompkins and a second Briefly in Tompkins list some positions open to applications from residents of Dryden: The Dryden Youth Commission, a joint commission between the Town of Dryden, Village of Dryden, and...

Posted by simon at 8:00 AM

March 1, 2005

Land use totals, 1966

It's been nearly a month since I last posted pieces of the 1968 General Plan for Dryden, the never-adopted but highly informative complement to the current Draft Comprehensive Plan. The newer plan notes: Residential development, excluding residential development within the...

Posted by simon at 8:12 AM

February 27, 2005

Catching up on the Februrary Town Board meeting

I've been slack in covering the February Town Board meeting, and the minutes are now available if you want full details on what happened. Some key moments stand out in the meeting, so here are some highlights. I've bolded subjects...

Posted by simon at 9:13 AM

Village Board on housing, parking, volunteer fire benefits

This week's issue of the Dryden Courier includes a detailed story on the Village of Dryden's January Board meeting. There's some explanation of the continuation of the multiple unit housing moratorium extension and its future: Mayor Reba Taylor said Tompkins...

Posted by simon at 7:37 AM

February 21, 2005

Village of Dryden continues moratorium

There isn't any news or opinion about or from Dryden in the Ithaca Journal today, but their legal notices include this piece announcing the further extension of the Village of Dryden's moratorium on new multiple residence construction: ATTENTION VILLAGE OF...

Posted by simon at 8:26 AM

February 18, 2005

Hearing on Comprehensive Plan

This morning's Ithaca Journal reports on last night's hearing on the revised Draft Comprehensive Plan. Residents expressed concern, and some hope, about changes that would eventually come to their neighborhood, and as the article notes, the Dryden Lake area was...

Posted by simon at 8:06 AM

February 17, 2005

Lane proposes three-year assessment cycle

Dryden County Legislator Mike Lane is cited in this morning's Ithaca Journal as saying "he wants the Legislature to vote on changing the cycle to every three years, a move he proposed twice last year but was shot down both...

Posted by simon at 8:46 AM

February 16, 2005

Welsh ponies, free tax prep

In this morning's Ithaca Journal, Cathy Wakeman's Dryden Town Talk takes a look at Welsh pony trainer Amy Schwartz and rider Junelle King, National Grand Champion of the United States Equestrian Foundation Welsh Pony Division. Schwartz is raising 30 ponies...

Posted by simon at 8:26 AM

February 11, 2005

Town Board meeting, Freeville perspectives

This morning's Ithaca Journal reports on last night's Town Board meeting. They lead with the question of the purchase of land for the new Town Hall, writing that: In an unexpected move, the Dryden Town Board went into executive session...

Posted by simon at 8:59 AM

February 8, 2005

Land use in the Village of Freeville, 1966

The survey in the 1968 General Plan for the Village of Freeville continues to be amazing, again listing use for every parcel as it was in 1966. This graphic shows an inset concentrating on the now vanished railroad tracks in...

Posted by simon at 9:31 PM

February 6, 2005

Dryden's future? New comprehensive plan draft published

The Town of Dryden has posted a revised version of its Draft Comprehensive Plan. This is the one document I'd encourage everyone interested in the future shape of Dryden (including the villages, even though they're not included) to read. The...

Posted by simon at 1:31 PM

February 3, 2005

Land use in the Village of Dryden, 1966

The survey in the 1968 General Plan for the Villages of Dryden and Freeville is stunning work, listing use for every parcel. I'll post Freeville this week, and here's the Village of Dryden for now. This graphic shows an inset...

Posted by simon at 5:50 PM

February 1, 2005

Zoning Board of Appeals meeting tonight; February meetings

The Zoning Board of Appeals is meeting tonight at 7:30pm at the Dryden Town Hall (map). I'll post the rest of February's meeting list when it's available, but wanted to make sure to point out the ZBA, as they've had...

Posted by simon at 12:27 PM

January 30, 2005

Land use in Etna and the Town, 1966

After the introductory material on land use patterns, the 1968 General Plan goes into one of my favorite features: a building-by-building survey of the Town as a whole, with additional maps for Etna, Freeville, and Dryden. The map for the...

Posted by simon at 10:35 AM

January 29, 2005

Land use patterns, 1968

After examing Natural Features, the 1968 Dryden General Plan looks at land use patterns. The opening section of this describes Dryden as suburbanization was starting to affect it, but before many of the newer developments in town were built. Land...

Posted by simon at 9:48 AM

January 26, 2005

Natural Features, 1968

The next section of the 1968 Dryden General Plan looks at a set of issues that haven't changed much since then: natural features, like hill slopes, watersheds, and soils. Natural Features and Resources Topography (77KB PDF, or 4KB text) Natural...

Posted by simon at 7:16 PM

January 24, 2005

Zoning Officer and Town Clerk's 2004 reports

Posted by simon at 5:54 PM

Historical and Regional Context, circa 1968

Continuing into the body of the 1968 Dryden General Plan, I've scanned the first two sections, an Introduction and Historical and Regional Context. For completeness, I'm including pictures and maps in separate files, as they tend to be enormous: Introduction...

Posted by simon at 5:37 PM

January 23, 2005

A Dryden that never came to pass

As the Planning Board comes closer to completing the Draft Comprehensive Plan, it seems like a good time to reflect on the fate of the last plan Dryden did, the 1968 Dryden General Plan. Apparently it was never adopted by...

Posted by simon at 4:27 PM

December 22, 2004

Victorian Christmas, Kitchen Cupboard

This morning's Ithaca Journal catches up to the Victorian Christmas event the Village of Dryden held December 3rd, exploring how it and the wreaths along West Main Street came about. Cathy Wakeman celebrates a warm fire and a cup of...

Posted by simon at 8:47 AM

December 6, 2004

Deer on the march

Dryden's number of accidents involving deer is up to nine this year from three last year, though it isn't clear if this year is high or last year was low. On the opinion page, Edward Marx,Tompkins County Commissioner of Planning,...

Posted by simon at 8:42 AM

November 22, 2004

Boxes of Joy

Today's Ithaca Journal has a picture of children packing gifts at the Bethel Grove Bible Church for the Operation Christmas Child program of Samaritan's Purse. An Etna resident, Susan Morse, and her dogs Kiss and Whisper, are noted in K-9...

Posted by simon at 7:53 AM

November 18, 2004

Planning board meeting tonight

Although the Town of Dryden notices page still shows the October 28th meeting of the Planning Board, I'm pretty sure that tonight is the Planning Board's November meeting, the 3rd Thursday of the month, at 7:30pm at the Dryden Town...

Posted by simon at 11:12 AM

October 28, 2004

Ellis Hollow silt, county planning

This morning's Ithaca Journal takes a look at the silt problems in Ellis Hollow that came up at this month's Town Board meeting. Jennie Daley talks with residents near the intersection of Turkey Hill, Ellis Hollow and Quarry Roads about...

Posted by simon at 8:18 AM

October 1, 2004

Keeping farms alive; McLean crossing guard

Today's Ithaca Journal explores the many issues around land-use planning and agriculture in Dryden. The article looks at farmers' concerns about disappearing ag land, their financial needs, and different possible ways of addressing the issue. There's also an article on...

Posted by simon at 5:37 PM

September 26, 2004

Planning Board on subdivisions, trails, agriculture

The Dryden Planning Board met Thursday night, first approving a subdivision and changes to an existing subdivision, and then focusing on two of the more difficult parts of the Draft Comprehensive Plan, agriculture and trails. The first item on the...

Posted by simon at 2:32 PM

September 16, 2004

Catching up with the Courier

I was away last week, so I'm covering two issues of the Dryden Courier in one article. Both issues focus on farming issues and the start of the school sports seasons. In the September 8th issue, Courier reporter Tony Hall...

Posted by simon at 5:38 PM

September 10, 2004

Agriculture meeting Monday

As I just mentioned, there will be a meeting to discuss agriculture and planning in the Town of Dryden on Monday, September 13, at the Dryden Veterans Memorial Home (map) from 7:30pm to 9:30pm. Debbie Gross, the Dryden Environmental Planner,...

Posted by simon at 9:48 AM

August 17, 2004

Thursday's Planning Board meeting cancelled

Dryden Environmental Planner Debbie Gross wrote me today with news that the August meeting of the Town of Dryden Planning Board has been cancelled....

Posted by simon at 5:21 PM

August 15, 2004

Fields along Dryden Road

As I get closer to the Dryden/Ithaca boundary, one parcel really stands out. It's 45 acres of Cornell fields, actively farmed. It's large enough to build a community on it, and it's convenient to Cornell and not far from East...

Posted by simon at 1:29 PM

August 9, 2004

Village of Dryden comprehensive plan, moratorium

This morning's Ithaca Journal examines the Village of Dryden's possible extension of its moratorium on multi-unit housing development. New York State has awarded the village a grant for executing a comprehensive plan, and the planning process is underway. I'll be...

Posted by simon at 7:26 AM

July 28, 2004

Golf course volunteers recognized

This morning's Ithaca Journal has an article on the volunteers keeping the Lakeview Golf Course going. Town Supervisor Steve Trumbull appreciates their efforts: "Those members who are donating time, fully free, mowing the course, mowing the greens, donating money for...

Posted by simon at 11:53 AM

July 23, 2004

Town Board has five public hearings

At last night's Town Board meeting, the board heard five different public hearings, as well as two points of citizen's privilege. (The Recreation Partnership discussion was apparently postponed.) The first hearing was on an application by Andrew and Elaine Morenus...

Posted by simon at 12:47 PM

July 12, 2004

Environmental issues at July Town Board meeting

The Environmental Planner's report examined the need to revise the Town Hazard Mitigation Plan and a kiosk on the Jim Schug Trail. Debbie Gross reported in a letter (247KB PDF) that while "Dryden chose not to participate in [the county...

Posted by simon at 7:30 PM

July 5, 2004

Remaining June meeting issues

It doesn't look like I'm going to have time to write up the rest of the June Town Board meeting the way I'd like to, and the town's minutes are already available, so I'm just going to talk a bit...

Posted by simon at 2:12 PM

July 2, 2004

Planning Board subdivision approvals

The Town of Dryden Planning Board gathered Wednesday night and held public hearings on and gave approvals to two subdivision proposals in Etna. Phase I of the Daniel Armitage subdivision, lots A, B, C, and D on the map (134KB...

Posted by simon at 8:51 AM

June 20, 2004

Agriculture at Planning Board meeting

For the second time this year, the Planning Board didn't have a quorum, so the meeting was purely discussion of the Draft Comprehensive Plan's agriculture section with the crowd of farmers and farm representatives who were there. (The three public...

Posted by simon at 2:01 PM

June 17, 2004

Planning board meeting, ice cream social tonight

The Planning Board meeting , tonight at 7pm at the Dryden Town Hall (map), will include hearings on three subdivisions near Etna: two phases of the Daniel Armitage subdivision (one at the corner of Wood and Sheldon Roads, and the...

Posted by simon at 8:57 AM

May 25, 2004

Storm water report

Most of my Town Board reporting this month has been late because I've been too busy to get to it. Today's story is a little different, in that I'm lucky to have waited for the final draft of the Town...

Posted by simon at 7:46 PM

May 24, 2004

May infrastructure issues

The May Town Board meeting opened with a hearing on amendments to the local law on siting telecommunications towers, changing the rules to encourage the shared use of existing towers. No one spoke on the matter, and eventually it passed...

Posted by simon at 7:25 PM

May 21, 2004

Planning board on subdivisions, agriculture

Last night, the Planning Board approved a subdivision modification, scheduled a hearing for a subdivision, and had a sketch conference on yet another subdivision, before talking about the agricultural parts of the Draft Comprehensive Plan. The first discussion dealt with...

Posted by simon at 8:23 PM

May 20, 2004

Planning meetings tonight

There are two planning-related meetings in Dryden tonight: The County Planning Department will hold a meeting explaining the draft of their Comprehensive Plan at Freeville Village Hall (map) tonight at 7pm. The Town Planning Board is meeting at 7:30pm tonight...

Posted by simon at 8:39 AM

May 17, 2004

Lane on Empire Zones

County Legislator Mike Lane is quoted in today's Ithaca Journal on the state's Empire Zone program, which has left Tompkins County as one of 11 counties without one. Lane says that "it would be different if only really economically depressed...

Posted by simon at 7:57 AM

May 14, 2004

Angry neighbors

Posted by simon at 12:57 PM

May 13, 2004

Conservation Advisory Board seeks members

Kathy Zahler writes with news from a neighbor: Dryden's Conservation Board is seeking two members to fill open positions. The board meets on the second Tuesday of each month at 7:30. Its job is to analyze data and make recommendations...

Posted by simon at 1:51 PM

May 10, 2004

Assessment hearings and planning meetings

Today's Ithaca Journal includes schedules of assessment hearings and comprehensive plan meetings. The local advisory board for assessments will meet at the Dryden Town Hall (map) on Thursday, May 20th, from 3pm to 6pm to hear property owners who wish...

Posted by simon at 12:27 PM

May 2, 2004

County Planning comes to Dryden

As part of the process for the Tompkins County Comprehensive Plan, the Planning Department held an open house and meeting on Thursday at the Dryden Town Hall. The open house started at three, with displays up and Deputy Commissioner of...

Posted by simon at 12:41 PM

Breaking down the County Comprehensive Plan

While the Draft Tompkins County Comprehensive Plan contains a lot of information, it's pretty enormous overall. They've broken it down into pieces by section, but even those sections are pretty large. Using Adobe Acrobat, I've broken it into smaller pieces...

Posted by simon at 11:13 AM

April 26, 2004

Draft County Comprehensive Plan available

If the Town of Dryden Draft Comprehensive Plan wasn't enough planning excitement for you, you can now add the Tompkins County Comprehensive Plan to your reading list. I haven't had a chance to read it, but I'll be looking it...

Posted by simon at 3:15 PM

April 20, 2004

Planning board on subdivision, hamlets, agriculture

Thursday night's Planning Board meeting included a sketch conference for a proposed sudivision on Sheldon and Wood roads near Etna (map) as well as continued discussion of the Draft Comprehensive Plan's sections on hamlets and agriculture. The Planning Board welcomed...

Posted by simon at 8:46 AM

April 14, 2004

Planning Board meeting tomorrow on agriculture, transportation, Etna

The Planning Board will be meeting tomorrow night at 7:30pm at Dryden Town Hall (map). Their focus will be on the Draft Comprehensive Plan, particularly agriculture and transportation. Last month's Planning Board meeting was pretty active, and closed with concerns...

Posted by simon at 9:44 AM

April 11, 2004

Infrastructure issues

A lot of Thursday night's Town Board meeting was spent on infrastructure issues, ranging from sewer issues to cell phone towers to roads. The meeting included two public hearings on sewer districts, one affecting the area north of the Village...

Posted by simon at 7:52 PM

April 1, 2004

More on phosphorous, planning

As noted here previously, the Town of Dryden will be having a public hearing on the removal of phosphorous from the City of Ithaca's sewage treatment plant, which serves the Varna and Route 13 area sewer districts. Today's Ithaca Journal...

Posted by simon at 7:25 PM

Smart Growth can be profitable in many ways

Lynn Richards, Senior Policy Analyst at the EPA, gave a general presentation on Smart Growth last night, explaining how planning is changing to encourage the creation of landscapes which accomodate people - and not just cars - once again. Smart...

Posted by simon at 8:32 AM

March 31, 2004

EPA speaker on Smart Growth

EPA Senior Policy Analyst Lynn Richards will be speaking at 7:30pm tonight at the Ramada Inn (map) on "Smart Growth: More Choices, Better Places". I'm especially interested in this, as Richards has written recently on Alternatives to Subsidizing Edge Development:...

Posted by simon at 9:35 AM

March 30, 2004

Sustainable Tompkins salon meets

Thirteen people, including four Dryden residents, met last night at Rogues Harbor in Lansing as part of the Sustainable Tompkins project. This was the first meeting of the "salon", which will gather every Monday there through May 3. (There are...

Posted by simon at 8:20 AM

March 29, 2004

More on Sustainable Tompkins

Today's Ithaca Journal includes a guest column on the Sustainable Tompkins initiative: Its aim is to consider what this region would be like if it were better designed to assure economic stability, social well being and the continued integrity of...

Posted by simon at 8:07 AM

March 25, 2004

County Comprehensive Plan examined in Varna

Senior Planner Heather Filiberto and Planning Analyst Tom Mank of the Tompkins County Planning Department presented work on the Tompkins County Comprehensive Plan last night at the Varna Community Center. The scope of the county plan is very different from...

Posted by simon at 8:06 AM

March 22, 2004

Comprehensive County Plan at Varna Wednesday

The Tompkins County Planning Department will be presenting the Tompkins County Comprehensive Plan on Wednesday, March 24th, at 7:30pm at the Varna Community Center (map). The plan hasn't yet been released to the public, and this meeting (along with others...

Posted by simon at 12:55 PM

March 19, 2004

Planning Board meets, modifies Draft Comprehensive Plan

This month's Planning Board meeting had a quorum, unlike last month's meeting, and was able to move forward with changes to the plan, though only two members of the public (myself included) were in attendance. Four planning board members, Dryden's...

Posted by simon at 12:07 PM

March 18, 2004

Tonight's Planning Board meeting

Tonight's Town of Dryden Planning Board meeting will continue to examine the Draft Comprehensive Plan and proposed changes to it. The Draft Comprehensive Plan page on the town's site notes: The Planning Board discussed the first three topics at its...

Posted by simon at 11:09 AM

March 15, 2004

Conservation, environmental planning, and a golf course

Conservation issues were important at Thursday's Town Board meeting, which started with a (very quiet) public hearing on changing the Conservation Advisory Council to a Conservation Advisory Board, spent time on environmental planning issues, and concluded with a discussion about...

Posted by simon at 7:47 AM

March 13, 2004

Town Board on annexation

[This Thursday's Town Board meeting had enough to it that I'm going to publish a series of articles on what happened, focusing on specific topics, rather than try to cover it in one huge piece.] The Town Board resolved the...

Posted by simon at 9:55 AM

March 7, 2004

More hamlet densities

Yesterday I looked at the populations of the Dryden portion of McLean and the hamlet area north of the Village of Dryden. The Draft Comprehensive Plan proposes an average density for these hamlet areas of eight units per acre, like...

Posted by simon at 11:09 AM

March 6, 2004

Partial hamlets census

The Draft Comprehensive Plan actually defines four hamlets within the town, though Etna and Varna are the two most frequently discussed. The other two hamlets are fragments, one being the Dryden side of McLean, which is largely in the Town...

Posted by simon at 12:25 PM

March 1, 2004

Conservation Board public hearing

The legal notice for the hearing on the law turning the town's. Conservation Advisory Council into a Conservation Board has been published. The hearing will be at 7:00pm on March 11, coinciding with the regularly scheduled Town Board meeting....

Posted by simon at 3:59 PM

February 27, 2004

February Town Board meeting minutes

I didn't make it to this month's Town Board meeting, so I was especially interested to see the minutes which recently appeared. As a number of issues were discussed at different points in the meeting, the summary below attempts to...

Posted by simon at 8:37 AM

February 22, 2004

Hamlet density

Yesterday's article explored the population of Varna and Etna, but even though it's interesting to know that downtown Varna's population is larger than Freeville's (679 to 505), the numbers needed to evaluate the statements about density in the Draft Comprehensive...

Posted by simon at 10:50 AM

February 21, 2004

Hamlet census

This week's sort-of Planning Board meeting on the Draft Comprehensive Plan's impact on Etna and Varna left me wondering about how many people actually live in the hamlets and what we data was available about them. In particular, the rental/owner-occupied...

Posted by simon at 3:54 PM

February 20, 2004

Not quite a Planning Board meeting on Varna, Etna

Last night's meeting for "discussing revisions to the Draft Comprehensive Plan" wasn't precisely a Planning Board meeting, as only two members of the board were there (four are necessary for action), and only six people were in the audience, including...

Posted by simon at 3:23 PM

Real estate value issues

Tompkins County will consider ending annual assessment, after a number of years in which real estate prices and assessments have increased substantially. State aid supporting annual assessments may not come this year, and property-owners have been unhappy. On the other...

Posted by simon at 8:51 AM

February 19, 2004

Planning in the Village, sledding, opinion

While the Town of Dryden Planning Board takes up revisions to the Draft Comprehensive Plan for hamlets tonight, the Ithaca Journal reports that the Village of Dryden will have a public hearing on maintaining their housing construction moratorium while discussing...

Posted by simon at 8:40 AM

February 18, 2004

Planning Board to discuss Varna, Etna on 19th

The Town of Dryden Comprehensive Plan page now indicates that: The Planning Board will be discussing revisions to the Draft Comprehensive Plan over the next several meetings. Public comments have been summarized into the topic areas listed below. This list...

Posted by simon at 8:02 PM

Volvos, Subarus, farms, and woods

Planner George Frantz (who is, among other things, the consultant working on the Town of Dryden Comprehensive Plan) has a strange but certainly thought-provoking guest column in the Ithaca Journal today. While it purports to be about a specific traffic...

Posted by simon at 5:33 PM

January 27, 2004

Suggested changes to Draft Comprehensive Plan

David Weinstein, a member of the Town Planning Board who commented here a while ago, sent me some letters he's sent the Planning Board suggesting changes to to the Draft Comprehensive Plan. There are two sets of suggestions. The first...

Posted by simon at 12:12 PM

January 25, 2004

Special meeting with Fire Departments, other meetings

The Town of Dryden Public Notices page (local copy) announces a meeting for Tuesday, January 27, at the Dryden Fire Hall (map), noting: The purpose of this meeting is to discuss ways to improve communications between the Town of Dryden...

Posted by simon at 9:41 AM

December 23, 2003

Adult businesses

I pulled out my Town of Dryden Zoning Map (available at the town office - I haven't seen it on the Web) to compare it to the Future Land Use Plan, and was reminded of a a feature on the...

Posted by simon at 10:04 AM

December 21, 2003

Mobile homes

While the Draft Comprehensive Plan notes the existence of mobile homes in Dryden, it doesn't talk much at all about their future. It recognizes that: Manufactured housing (a.k.a. mobile homes) accounts for a significant proportion of the housing stock. There...

Posted by simon at 10:26 AM

December 19, 2003

Draft Comprehensive Plan Informational Meeting

I made it to last night's informational meeting on the Town's Draft Comprehensive Plan, held at the Dryden Town Hall. (The hearing on annexation was at the Village Hall, at the same time, and there was a bit of confusion.)...

Posted by simon at 12:49 PM

December 18, 2003

Dryden Comprehensive Plan information meeting tonight

The last of the informational meetings on the Draft Comprehensive Plan will be held tonight from 7 to 9 PM at the Dryden Town Hall, 65 E. Main Street (map). I'll be at this one, finally!...

Posted by simon at 7:47 AM

December 17, 2003

More thoughts on NYSEG

After writing about how NYSEG's headquarters building seems to be in steady decline yesterday, I started thinking about how it's always been a strange island anyway. While it dominates the Route 13/366 intersection, it doesn't feel like it's actually contributed...

Posted by simon at 1:18 PM

December 16, 2003

What's up at NYSEG?

The building I refer to as "NYSEG headquarters" looms everytime I drive home along Route 13. It's an enormous complex, and dominates the overlapping area of Routes 13 and 366. The "Utility Headquarters" sign indicates a left turn lane just...

Posted by simon at 8:42 AM

December 13, 2003

Freeville Comprehensive Plan Meeting?

I've been away all week, so I didn't get to attend either the Varna or the Freeville informational meetings on the Draft Comprehensive Plan for Dryden. The Varna meeting seemed pretty well-covered in the paper, but I've seen no similar...

Posted by simon at 10:29 AM

December 10, 2003

Report on Comprehensive Plan session in Varna

I couldn't make it, but I'm happy to read that three dozen people showed up for the Varna informational meeting on the Dryden Draft Comprehensive Plan. It sounds like the tough questions about increasing density in Varna while having no...

Posted by simon at 9:43 AM

December 9, 2003

Comprehensive Plan Meeting tonight - Varna

There is a public information session about the Draft Comprehensive Plan at the Varna Community Center (map) tonight from 7 to 9 PM. Unfortunately, I can't make it, being a couple of hundred miles away. The counter on the page...

Posted by simon at 8:06 AM

December 8, 2003

A dense Ithaca

George Frantz, of the firm creating the Dryden Comprehensive Plan, has an editorial in the Ithaca Journal today about visions of a much more compact Ithaca at Cornell's Urban and Regional Studies program. He's right that the distributed "American city...

Posted by simon at 10:14 AM

December 2, 2003

Cluster subdivisions

After spending the past few days talking about things in the Draft Comprehensive Plan that worry me, it's probably a good idea to talk about things in the plan that intrigue me. The discussion of Cluster Subdivisions on pages 50-52...

Posted by simon at 12:35 PM

December 1, 2003

Density and Water

The Draft Comprehensive Plan makes some suggestions based on water and sewer systems that leave me wondering whether water and sewer are a blessing or a curse for a community. Given the taste of the water from the (barely functioning)...

Posted by simon at 8:41 AM

November 30, 2003

Rental and Owner-Occupied Housing

In reading the Town of Dryden Draft Comprehensive Plan, I'm growing more and more concerned about things that I'm not seeing discussed, in particular the balance between rental units and owner-occupied housing. The plan notes on page 40 that: In...

Posted by simon at 11:18 AM

November 26, 2003

Future Land Use

In addition to the Draft Comprehensive plan mentioned earlier, the 1999 "Future Land Use in the Town of Dryden: Alternatives and Recommendations" is available online. It was performed by Cornell's Department of City and Regional Planning. More food for thought....

Posted by simon at 4:00 PM

Draft Comprehensive Plan

The Town website now hosts the 2003 Draft Comprehensive Plan. This is a fascinating document with lots of pieces, but I'll be a while digesting before I comment on it in depth. The draft (without maps) is 2.4MB long, so...

Posted by simon at 8:29 AM