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Sunday, January 22, 2012

If at first you don't succeed...

According to a story in the Observer Dispatch, Rezoning plan returns to New Hartford, a new petition to allow retail in the New Hartford Business Park was submitted by Larry Adler on January 9, 2012. The item never appeared on the January 11, 2012 town board agenda; however it was discussed that evening after Town Attorney Cully brought the request before the board.

You may remember that Attorney Cully brought a similar request to the town board on behalf of Mr. Adler last November; then, in December, he withdrew that request.

According to the OD article:
The reason the proposal was withdrawn, amended and resubmitted was to include input from the town’s comprehensive goals, Adler said.
Hmm...the town's 2007 Comprehensive Plan Update. We seem to remember that Mr. Adler was part of the Business & Economic Development Focus Group back in 2006-07 when the town's Comprehensive Plan was being updated.

We found some of the comments from that focus group to be quite interesting:
  • Sprawl − “a little bit of control of the sprawl”
  • More mini high tech kinds of businesses
  • When you have experience in developing here, you know how to do it
  • Planning Board: they’re not planners
  • This becomes a mini-city if everything comes together
  • Retail needs to slow down while the population catches up
  • Technology Parks and Business Parks needed
  • Town needs to be a leader and needs to be able to discuss issues such as the decay in the City of Utica; NH is a jewel in a rusting hulk
  • NH has shown a lot of leadership in spite of itself commercially and etc.
  • The retailers are going to tell you when there are enough stores
  • NH competes with Utica for offices; businesses are moving out but NH isn’t prepared with a nice business park
Back then, Mr. Adler was pitching his plans to develop the acreage as a business park with a doctor's office, hotel and The Hartford.

A business park was necessary according to town officials during the Reed administration. Town taxpayers were assured that once the PILOTs were in place, the business park would flourish. Tax revenues would more than offset the $3.4 million bonding costs associated with the building of the infrastructure in the park.

The Hartford moved in their new building in 2008, the hotel is supposedly going to be open in April 2012 and the doctor's office has since moved elsewhere. No further business park development has been made public.

Now...five years after the Comprehensive Plan was adopted, Adler says in today's Observer Dispatch article:
If approved, the amendments would make the area easier to develop, he said.
Since when was it deemed to be the town board's mission to change zoning to make it easier for a developer to succeed when his initial plans don't pan out? By the way, it is our understanding that the business park zoning was already changed once to allow the hotel.

Mr. Adler is scheduled to appear before the Zoning Board of Appeals on Monday, January 23, 2012 to ask for an area variance regarding signage for his hotel. The meeting is being held in the Library starting at 6:00 p.m.

According to the agenda:
The application of Mr. Larry Adler for New Hartford Office Group, LLC for signage at the Hampton Inn & Suites, 201 Woods Park Drive, New Hartford, New York.

Zoning in this area is Planned Development Park which allows a maximum of 40 square
feet for wall signs. Applicant is seeking two Area Variances for walls signs: east sign requiring a 99 square foot Area Variance, and northern sign requires a 49 square foot Area Variance. Tax Map #328.00037.1; Lot Size: 3.3 Acres; Zoning: Planned Development Park.
Here is the entire Business & Economic Development Focus Group section of the 2007 New Hartford Comprehensive Plan Update.

Be sure to read Strikeslip's blog for more on this story...New Hartford Development: Urban Cancer...

Here is the video of that portion of the January 11, 2011 town board meeting discussing Mr. Adler's request:


Anonymous said...

Why is the towns attorney presenting applications for Adler? Who Is attorney Cully working for? Is it for the people of New Hartford Or Adler? I wonder!

Anonymous said...

It just goes on and on. I am not against development, but who is going to pay for all this strain on the PD, FD, Highway etc. They said it right. A Town of 20,000 people can not keep subsidizing this type of growth. Nice as it seems, the average homeowner never gets a break. A miniscule tax reduction will never equate to the 45% we all got whacked with. In addition taking from one pocket (town) and putting it in another (library) will only cost more. Just not right.

Anonymous said...

All businesses moving into New Hartford will reduce the home owner's taxes.....what a farce that is. After businesses get here and settled, they go before the board and plead for a reduction in their taxes (which they usually get).....this has happened again and again in Sangertown Square. Also, the Board reduced taxes for Preswick Glenn, which they never should have done. I hear Presswick Glenn is just about full,so they must be making BIG BUCKS over there.
So much for talk like businesses moving in will reduce our taxes. More businesses moving in will just stress out roads, highways, fire department, and police department,etc. like in the past. So much for nonsense talk like above!!!!!!!!!!