To the Valley News:
The E’town Planning Board felt the need to “ correct the misinformation “ contained in a recent Letter to the Editor of mine. I challenge their “facts.”
First, they again refer to their task as “ updating the 37 year-old Comprehensive Plan.” There is no existing Comp. Plan. It was rejected 37 years ago, by the Zoning Board and the Town Board as being too restrictive for property owners.
Second, they deny that their “plan is to impose town wide zoning.” This is technically true, because the Planning Board can’t “ impose “ more zoning, nor can the Town Board. A public referendum vote would be required, so the statement is irrelevant.
The Comp. Plan Team is more than just the Planning Board. Others are on the non-appointed Team; such as the Chairman of the ZBA; such as a Director for the Adirondack Council; and such as the Supervisor’s husband, Harry Otis Gough. If a Comp. Plan is approved, the Team, or anyone for that matter, could pressure the Town Board to put new zoning changes on a ballot. Perhaps a new Team will create themselves, as happened with the existing Team. New regulatory oversight and enforcement procedures could also be a part of it, enabling the Planning Board to enforce current A.P.A rules and more. Read Hamlets 3 or Smart Growth documents if you wish to be enlightened about the real goals.
Third, a Planning Board plus a few volunteers makes the “ Team “ a Citizens Committee, which requires a Town Board appointment, which has been continuously rejected by them. All this legal stuff is such a nuisance, but I know they understand it since Supervisor Bartley used the law to keep a sitting Councilman off the Team back in February. That was me.
I absolutely believe that they are working hard and are “totally committed.” The question remains, “totally committed“ to what? My objective is to let the voters understand that the content of this Plan is important to them. Remember, the Town Board can reject or alter the Plan, so your input and the structure of the Town Board will be important. The upcoming election will help shape the Board that decides the issue.
Ken Fenimore, Elizabethtown