To the Editor:
Plato once said that the written word was prone to misinterpretation. I suppose that could be true in general, but some documents of law appear to be quite clear. As I read N.Y.S. Law 272A regarding the intent of Comprehensive Plans, such as Elizabethtown and Lewis are considering, it seems quite clear what they are intended to do. This may put you to sleep, but it‘s important for everyone to understand what is happening here and not take it lightly.
Law 272A defines a town Comprehensive Plan as the means to provide for the “ immediate and long range protection, enhancement, growth and development of the town located OUTSIDE the limits of any incorporated village or city.” Land use regulation is the method used to accomplish this.
Law 272A states that “land use regulation means an ordinance or local law enacted by the town for the regulation of any aspect of land use and community resource protection and includes any zoning, subdivision, special use permit, or site plan regulation, or any other regulation which prescribes the appropriate use of property.” The “appropriate use” of your property.
It’s important to note that “zoning“ is only one of several methods used to regulate, and therefore control your property.
It’s also important to understand that an “ordinance“ is municipal law.
Law 272A does not require a town to adopt a Comprehensive Plan, but if they do, section 11 (a) states that “all town land use regulations must be in accordance with a comprehensive plan adopted pursuant to this section.” The State requires a Plan to be implemented.
Since the target area is OUTSIDE the community centers, that is where the land use regulation will eventually occur.
It’s being said that E’town has had a Comprehensive Plan since 1977. This is not accurate. What E’town has is a Land Use Local Law, pertaining only to the Hamlet. This meets the requirement of “Comprehensiveness“ by NYS standards. The State standards are met because of the existence of the APA, which has some authority to regulate land use outside the Hamlet, therefore between them create a Comprehensive Plan type structure, or “Comprehensiveness.” It’s stated as such in our Local Law.