Friday, October 2, 2009
Comprehenisive Plan Draws Fire
It was a packed meeting room as the Town Board got an earful from residents, the vast majority of which expressed opposition to the second Comprehensive Plan in two years, This one can best be described as a plan for developers at the expense of town residents and the quality of life they are trying to preserve.
Time and again, details of the plan were exposed as changing the land use map to make it easier for developers to do higher density projects where they are currently not allowed to do so. The inconsistency of protecting one potential developer's land on RT 4 so he could market the property to big box developers and a homeowner whose neighborhood is being re designated to permit high density development where it is currently not permitted, the Town Board got an earful of opposition never heard at the Public Hearing held in 2006 for the first proposed plan.
Perhaps most amazing were the comments of the paid consultant who was lured into stating that they would recommend a negative declaration on SEQR, which means that the plan would as presented have no negative impact on the town. That statment was extracted from the consultant after former CPC Chairman Richard Fennelly was able to affirm that big box development would be permitted on RT 4 along the current golf driving range and as such, the residential neighborhoods around Bloomingrove Drive would somehow have to accept the egress on the rear side of the properties, dumping mall traffic onto a residential street. How a negative declaration of SEQR could be declared with a straight face is anyone's guess.
There were also repeated references to the failure of this committee to comply with the Open Meetings Law by taking accurate minutes. As we have previously posted, minutes must include a record of members attending, a quorum if there is action or voting and a record of the vote. Time and again those minutes were put on display, most never listing the attendance or recording any vote to change the previous plan until AFTER the plan was pronounced completed at the June 2, 2009 meeting. Imagine, not a single vote to change a thing is recorded in all the minutes of 2008 and through June 2nd of this year, yet the plan was somehow all done and revised by June 2nd.
Chairman Al Spain's claims that town Democrats who first called for the creation of a plan, were politicizing it by publicly opposing it were a laugh as well. Spain could never admit that Mark Evers, then his running mate in 2007, had no legal authority to unilaterally appoint a dozen people to the committee in an effort to stack it with his supporters without a town board vote. Under the statute, a CPC is a town board appointed entity leaving the Supervisor with no unilateral authority to appoint anyone. Spain was once asked about Evers past actions and refused to admit Evers had no right to do this, to "politicize the process". We prsume Spain has his own unique definition of what politics is.
This proposal put Mark Evers and Lou Desso in a bit of a political pickle. The opposition from high turnout voting districts could make a critical difference in the coming election. For Desso, his East Greenbush opponents enjoy a larger voting population and base of support. Loosing these high turnout districts because of his support for this plan could make the difference in any close race. And Evers, DeFreestsville put him over the top in 2005 and it can make the difference again.
We'll upload the meeting later today so you can listen to most of the meeting and enjoy the fireworks.
Posted by The North Greenbush Pipeline at 5:49 AM