More specifically, there is a land type called residual. According to ORPS, residual:
...describes all excess land on a site which is not coded as Primary, Secondary, Undeveloped, Waterfront, or Leased Land. It should be used primarily to describe any excess land on a commercial site which is not considered suitable for development [emphasis added] purposes.We have been told at town board meetings that a lot of the property being considered for re-zoning is extremely wet and swampy so we decided to check out the land type as determined by the town assessor.
Using the town's online assessment program, we looked up each of the properties identified in Mr. Adler's zone change request documents as being the 246.77 total acreage currently zoned Planned Development Park [PDP or business park].
From the information found in the Town of New Hartford assessment database, we then developed a spreadsheet and found the following to be true according to town records:
We then decided to create another spreadsheet looking specifically at the 212.7 acres owned by the five (5) who are listed as in favor of the zone map amendment change and have signed petitions in support of Mr. Adler's request.
- According to town records, there are three (3) different land types in the PDP zone; primary, undeveloped and residual.
- 18% of the PDP is primary land, some of that land has already been developed for residential, The Hartford and PAR Technologies
- 35% of the 246.77 acres is undeveloped, but could be developed
- Of the 246.77 acres currently zoned PDP, 47% or almost half the property is listed as residual [undevelopable]
So like our first spreadsheet, half the acreage of those that are in favor of a zone map amendment is identified in town records as being residual land...undevelopable!
- 10% of the 212.7 acres is primary land, with some already developed
- 39% of the 212.7 acres is undeveloped, but could be developed
- Of the 212.7 acreage of those wishing to change the zoning, 51% or more than half the property is listed as residual [undevelopable]
Oh, and one more thing...
There are many ways one could analyze the data, but one thing is for sure...it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that land with no improvements that is tagged as residual [undevelopable] in the town's records is assessed far less than land that is tagged as undeveloped, but developable.
- Of the undeveloped, but developable acreage of those wishing to change the zoning, 95% of the property is currently identified in the town's database as being owned by New Hartford Office Group, LLC [Larry Adler]!
So...we ask, is it the assessor that has incorrectly identified these parcels as undevelopable in the assessment database and therefore, it is very probably that these parcels have actually been under assessed for years...OR...are the taxpayers in the Town of New Hartford being sold "a bill of goods"?
To be continued...