Minerva resurrects town zoning commission

MINERVA - Following public outcry against a proposed comprehensive plan that would increase building densities on properties in or near the hamlet and reduce densities on properties outside of the hamlet area - the Minerva Town Board adopted a measure that will resurrect the town zoning commission, which hasn't met in more than three years.

The zoning commission was the body who spent several years drafting the proposed town map amendments, which were adopted by the town board in 2006 and are currently in review at the Adirondack Park Agency.

"Our goal is to form some kind of grievance forum," said town councilman and zoning commission chair Doug McCall. "We would like to explain the process to people."

McCall said that the commission will not be rewriting the draft. Instead, it is intended as an informational body that will look at individual complaints of property owners.

Many property owners with parcels outside of the hamlet area will see their property downgraded from low intensity use to rural use. This will drastically reduce the allowable number of building lots a parcel can be divided into.

"The public asked for two things," said Minerva Supervisor Mike McSweeney. "We asked the APA to extend the comment period which they did and to bring back the zoning commission."

The public comment period for the APA review has been extended until Sept. 14.

If adopted, the comprehensive plan would upgrade approximately 650 acres to allow for greater building densities, while downgrading approximately 1,000 acres on distant parcels.

Town officials said the goal of the comprehensive plan is to allow for the construction of affordable housing and to promote the development of a home-owning middle class.

A date has not yet been set for the first meeting of the commission.

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