The responses of each of these agencies should have been made available to the public prior to the public hearing, but there seemed to be a "rush" to get this through the system. So much so that even though the application wasn't complete and the fee for the requests were not paid until days after the February 8, 2012 town board meeting, the town board passed a resolution to start the clock ticking anyway.
Here are the comments in today's OD article regarding the recommendations of some of the reporting agencies:
Town police Chief Michael Inserra said the impact on police services depends on the type of businesses or companies moving in. “Office buildings generally have less impact on police services than retail,” he said.
In 2009, about 55 percent of the arrests in the town were made in Zone 4, which runs along the Commercial Drive and Seneca Turnpike areas, Inserra said. That forced the police department to expand. “Our commercial district has been expanding for a number of years now,” Inserra said. “If we continue to grow, at some point the manpower issues have to be addressed.”In other words, taxes will have to be raised to meet the demand for more police.
New Hartford Fire Chief Thomas Bolanowski:
"...continued development in that area of the town will have a “cumulative effect on increasing our frequency of responses and delivery of emergency services.”In other words taxes will increase to meet the demand.
Jo-Anne Humphreys, an Oneida County Soil and Water Conservation District water quality specialist:
"...said the potential conversion of woods to paved surfaces will “almost certainly have an impact on flooding in the Oriskany and Sauquoit Creek watersheds.”More flooding...just what New Hartford and our neighboring communities need.
Mark Laramie, deputy commissioner of engineering for the Oneida County Department of Public Works:
“Small offices and retail generate much different traffic patterns,” he said. A letter to the board the Oneida County Planning Department stated concerns over the potential for increased traffic, specifically in the Middle Settlement Road and Clinton Street intersection. The planning and public works departments suggested revised traffic studies.
As we reported in an earlier blog, two (2) GEIS update studies were done by peter j. smith & co. in 2008 at the cost of $30,000 each.
We talked to a few town officials...however, we were unable to find anyone who admitted to knowing about these reports. The town spent $60,000 for reports that have never been discussed publicly since they were created. Both of these reports talk about stormwater, traffic, and other issues in each of the GEIS areas; Seneca Turnpike/Middlesettlement Road and Burrstone/French Road. These updates were completed AFTER the business park development started. We note that Mr. Adler used information from the 1991 GEIS study to support his zoning change request; in 1991, there was a much different use planned for the business park than is currently under way.
We found an eighteen page booklet online printed by the NYS Dept. of State regarding on the topic of Zoning and the Comprehensive Plan. In conclusion, it states:
During the 1990's the zoning enabling statutes were amended to provide a process for adoption of a comprehensive plan--a formal planning document that can provide goals and objectives for the community. Once the plan is adopted, the community’s land use regulations must be consistent with it. [emphasis added by this blogger]
In 2007, the town's Comprehensive Plan was finished and adopted by the town board.
In 2007, the town also bonded for $75,000 to update the zoning regulations to be consistent with the newly adopted Comprehensive Plan as is required. Taxpayers have been paying the principle and interest on this bond since 2007; however, the money was never spent for its intended purpose...the zoning regulations were never updated.
At the March 14, 2012 town board meeting, after just about everyone in the audience left, Supervisor Tyksinski addressed the fact that the zoning regulations were never updated to be consistent with the Comprehensive Plan. Listen to the discussion between Supervisor Tyksinski and Codes Officer Joe Booth.
Click on the arrow in the blue box to start the video; then by clicking on the button at the far right bottom, you will be able to control the volume.
Additionally, according to the 2007 Comprehensive Plan, it is recommended that the plan be updated in five (5) years...that would be this year.
By Supervisor Tyksinski's own words, we need to update our Comprehensive Plan, and the zoning regulations were never updated as is required. The Planning Board voted 6 to 1 that the proposed amendment is NOT consistent with the underlying objectives of the Town Comprehensive Plan and each agency has reported that there are known factors that could impact not only New Hartford residents, but also neighboring communities.
Larry Adler has requested a zoning map amendment request for over 216 acres which according to the developer in today's Observer Dispatch article:
“I don’t have any definitive plans at the moment,” he said Thursday. “I’m not focused on the retail for the zone-change area.”Wait a minute, didn't he first come to the town board to get a zone text amendment to allow retail? Who does he think he's kidding?
Taking all that into consideration and referring to Town of New Hartford Codes, Article XIV. Amendments:
§ 118-88 E. Town Board procedures. Conformance with Town Comprehensive Plan. In all cases where the Town Board shall approve an amendment to the Zoning Map, said Board shall find, for reasons fully set in its resolution, such amendment to be in conformity with the Town Comprehensive Plan.There have been several zone map amendments allowed during Tyskinski's administration and there are more waiting to be acted on. If this zoning map amendment is adopted by our town board prior to updating the comprehensive plan and updating zoning ordinances to be consistent with that plan, it will make it difficult to turn down further requests and leave little doubt as to whom the town board feels obligated to serve.