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New land use law in Thurman

Were trying to keep the rural character of the town, said Thurman Supervisor John Haskell. Our planning board worked many months on this plan and the town board passed it unanimously. The new law requires that the minimum lot size in Thurman is three acres for homeowners. Obviously, any lot smaller than three acres that already exists is grandfathered in, Haskell said. We dont want any huge subdivisions in town, we dont have the infrastructure, the fire and emergency coverage or town equipment to cover anything like that and the town would lose its character. A petition was passed around Thurman objecting to the new law, but Haskell said many who signed it have reversed their thoughts. This is the first time I got a petition and then people called me and said they were sorry they signed it, he said. A few people are upset, but most agree with it. Joan Harris, head of the Thurman planning board, agrees with Haskell. Im for what we presented to the town board, she said. We tried to get information from people while we worked on it. She said the towns comprehensive plan calls for keeping it rural. We dont want house on top of house, Harris said. Some contractors in town want to build a subdivision, but it has to be in compliance with septic, infrastructure and have enough land. She said the planning board came up with the three-acre limit after much discussion and negotiation. We have people on the board who live in modular homes and large home owners, she said. Were trying to meet the needs of everyone. Harris said that the law allows for variances in some cases. Anyone has the right to complain, she said. Some were concerned about dividing their land up among their kids. Harris said in situations like that, all that needs to be done is address the town board and ask for a variance. The heritage of our town is to have your own property, with neighbors, but you have to travel a bit to see them, she said. I think even the old timers will thank us, they dont want houses so close you can see into each others living rooms.

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