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Ward Hill subdivision approved conditionally

— After months of discussion and extensive public comment from residents of nearby neighborhoods, the Johnsburg Planning Board voted unanimously Monday, July 23 to conditionally approve the Ward Hill Subdivision.

To assure residents had adequate input, the board allowed those attending Monday’s Planning Board meeting to offer additional comment on the proposed subdivision even though the months-long public hearing on the proposal was closed during the June Planning Board meeting.

“I’m not going to prevent you from commenting,” Planning Board Chair Dottie Osterhout said.

A handful of residents took the opportunity to speak, though much of the commentary traversed territory covered in previous meetings.

Beverly Hudnut, a member of the Chatiemac Village Homeowners Association, thanked the Planning Board for its thoughtful and detailed review of the project. She then urged the board to take into account the sentiments and concerns of the neighbors of the proposed subdivision as the board weighed whether or not to grant approval.

But Osterhout explained that the board could only consider whether or not the proposal meets the town code. Feelings have no bearing, she explained.

“Our decision is based solely on the town code,” Osterhout said. “Not whether we think it’s a good idea or a bad idea. …If the applicant meets the town standards, we cannot legally deny them.”

The approval came with a set of six conditions, many of which were in response to concerns of neighbors in the Chatiemac, Iroquois Trail and Peaceful Valley Road neighborhoods adjacent to the proposed subdivision.

Planning Board member Roger Smith came prepared with a draft resolution that he and board member Janet Konis worked on in advance of the meeting. After some extensive discussion that included input from Planning Board attorney Mike Hill to assure that details of the town code were formally incorporated in the process, the board settled upon a resolution approving the Ward Hill Subdivision with the following conditions:

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