According to § 118-86. Initiation, one of three ways that a zoning amendment may be initiated is:
"by petition duly signed and acknowledged from the owners of 50% or more of the acreage in any district or part thereof requesting an amendment, supplement or change in the regulations prescribed for such district or part thereof..."Attorney Cully stated at the November 16, 2011 town board meeting that he would confer with the town assessor to verify that Larry Adler does own 50% of the acreage.
[Note: According to news articles, The New Hartford Office Group LLC, owner of some of the acreage in the business park, is an affiliate of the Cameron Group LLC.When we visited the Town Clerk's office on Friday, November 18, 2011, she told us that to date nothing else had been filed for this zoning amendment other than the letter signed by Larry Adler that he submitted requesting the zone text amendment.
Unless Larry Adler is the sole owner of New Hartford Office Group LLC, he will need a petition signed by the other owners of that group to even begin to qualify as "an owner of 50% or more of the acreage"...just saying].
Petitions are FOILable and must be filed in the Town Clerk's office; if Larry doesn't own 50% of the acreage, a petition with the additional signatures will need to be filed in the Town Clerk's office before the amendment process can officially be started.
We will ask the Town Clerk again next week if a petition has been filed or if Attorney Cully has verified the owners of the property within the District and determined that Larry Adler meets the acreage requirement.
There is also a fee involved according to this same section of the Town Code:
Said petition shall be accompanied by the applicable fee in accordance with the fee schedule established and annually reviewed by the Town Board.Was this fee collected?
According to § 118-88 [A] Town Board procedures; notice of the Public Hearing shall be given:
By providing a copy of such notice of any proposed change or amendment affecting property within 500 feet of any other municipality to the Clerk of such municipality at least 10 calendar days prior to the date of such public hearing.Looking at the map of the Planned Development Park District [PDPD], notice will need to be given to the Town of Whitestown since they border the Town of New Hartford PDPD.
According to § 118-88 [D]: Town Board action.
The Town Board may approve any such proposed amendment by a majority vote of said Board, except that a favorable vote of at least four members of the Town Board, i.e., a majority plus one shall be required if:This is far from a done deal...we would advise those that are against this change to visit the Town Clerk's office to pick up petition forms, collect signatures and present them to the Town Clerk forcing an affirmative vote of 4 of 5 board members in order to adopt this zone text amendment.
(1) Action being taken is contrary to the advisory recommendation received from the Town Planning Board or from the County Planning Board under the provisions of § 239-m of the General Municipal Law.
(2) In accordance with the provisions of § 265 of the Town Law, a protest petition against such amendment has been duly signed by the owners of at least 20% of the land area included in such proposed change or of that immediately adjacent extending 100 feet therefrom or that directly opposite.