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Map amendments require give and take

After nearly three years in development, the plan was proposed to the town's citizens in March.

The fact that the APA proposal would have downgraded over 3,000 acres to more restrictive density designations, while 1,445 would have been upgraded roused the local public and effectively killed the project.

The lands that would have been downgraded are located well outside of the hamlets, pursuant to the APA's mandated goal of channeling development to hamlet areas while limiting development in the wild forests.

But for property owners located outside of the hamlet, the downgrades effectively represent a devaluation of the land as it reduces the amount of individual lots that it could be subdivided into.

Similar instances where map amendments have stalled after negative local reaction have recently occurred in Inlet and Johnsburg.

Following intense public outcry against the Johnsburg proposal, Supervisor Sterling Goodspeed has spent much of the week distancing himself and the town from the plan.

Johnsburg petitioned for the changes during the administration of former Johnsburg supervisor and current local APA Commissioner Bill Thomas.

Each proposed zoning revision was at the behest of the town.

But for Lamb, the literal give-and-take is simply how the process works and designed around the concept of limiting rural sprawl.

"Instead of just having rural sprawl all over through the mountains, which would result in a highly developed area all over the mountains, the plan was to channel growth into specific hamlet area," Lamb said. "The whole plan was designed to promote growth into the hamlet areas."

The town of Warrensburg is currently in the process of creating a comprehensive plan and hamlet expansion is one of the town's top priorities.

According to Warrensburg Supervisor Kevin Geraghty, increased restrictions on outlying properties are expected.

"We're going to reach out to them; they aren't going to come to us. We will have to reach out and try to negotiate the best deal for our people," Geraghty said. "What we have to avoid is undue take when we decide to do it."

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