Beware of plan

To the Valley News:

The Elizabethtown Planning Board has made an appeal to the Town Board regarding the new Town-wide Comprehensive Plan. A group consisting of the Planning Board, plus a few others, have been working on this Plan for two years now.

Their appeal essentially states that NYS Law 272-a and the inclusion of the Hamlets 3 project are just minor details as they relate to the C. Plan, therefore they shouldn‘t be of concern to anyone.

Law 272-a states that the primary purpose of a town comprehensive plan is to regulate land use outside of villages,

Hamlets 3 is a very detailed strategy to accomplish the land use regulation. It focuses on “preservation of the environment... within the special conditions of the Adirondack Park.” It’s referred to as Smart Growth.

Hamlets 3 acknowledges that, “the Hamlets 3 model can be employed with or without zoning,” so when supporters of the C. Plan say they aren’t going to zone the entire town it’s important to understand that they don’t have to.

The Town Board can empower a planning board to adopt land use regulations, and appoint a Conservation Advisory Council, or perhaps a design review board which can exist independent of zoning laws. Several new committees are part of the C. Plan.

Hamlets 3 also addresses “overcoming obstacles,” such as “uncooperative property owners” by the use of buy-outs or eminent domain. Simply take the property from “obstacles.”

Unlike the Planning Board group, I find these minor details to be of great concern. Only recently has the group admitted that the C. Plan is town wide, after denying it for over a year. Clearly trust is an issue here.

Only your Town Board will get to decide this issue, for a public vote is not required. There will be no need for “obstacles” to participate.

Ken Fenimore


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