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Minerva plan nears decision

MINERVA - Following a May 4 public hearing, Minerva is moving ever-closer to adopting a new comprehensive plan which focuses on hamlet expansion and the creation of affordable housing, but everyone isn't happy about it. The plan is currently under Adirondack Park Association review.

"The reason for requesting an APA map amendment is to open up land use for locals who are being priced out of the housing and land markets," SUNY Plattsburgh consultant Richard Lamb said during a recent presentation to residents.

According to Lamb, the town submitted the proposed map amendments to the APA in 2006, following a four-year creation and local review process.

"Zoning revisions are the only way a town board can effect housing costs," Minerva town councilman and chair of the town zoning commission Doug McCall said May 7. "We really thought about this. We want people to be able to afford to live and work here."

The proposed amendments would upgrade 677 acres near the current hamlet to allow for increased housing density. The majority of the proposed upgrades would change property from low intensity use - 3.2 acres per structure to moderate intensity - 1.3 acres per structure.

The APA has proposed an amended map which would reduce the total amount of upgrades by approximately 50 acres.

"My opinion is that kids don't build houses because there is no jobs," Minerva resident Judy Strohmeyer said. "It becomes an issue when people try to trade off your land for someone else's."

Strohmeyer owns 250 acres several miles from the hamlet. If adopted, her land would be downgraded from low intensity to the far more restrictive rural use classification, she said.

About 1,000 acres of outlying property would be downgraded if the plan was adopted, according to the current proposed APA amendments.

"We were told we would have to give some to take some," McCall said. "At first we wanted just the upgrades."

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