Board member: 'You have your own agenda'
WAYNE--The town of Wayne officials have been talking and planning for a new Land Use Regulation (LUR) document for a number of years. At the town board meeting Tuesday, Oct. 9 the talk about the proposed plan became heated between council members and Supervisor Stephen Butchko.
At the meeting Butchko said he has now included all of the changes the residents suggested from the August public hearing in the latest LUR draft copy and he wanted to schedule another public meeting. At that point, council member Julie Haar said, "No, you have not included all of the changes that people want." Haar said council member Tom Dunbar has a number of points he wants considered and those things are not included.
Haar said, "This makes me suspicious, Stephen. You have another agenda going on here to rush this thing through. You have certain things you want. I have my suspicions about why you want this plan rushed through. What is the hurry?"
Dunbar said, "I represent a group of people (in the town) and I look at the freedoms we are attempting to take away from people (with the new land use regulations) and being a representative we should give everybody due diligence about these regulations before they become law. I asked for a chance to speak and I want that opportunity." Butchko said Dunbar would have an opportunity to speak at their next town board meeting Nov. 13.
In essence, the new regulations designate about 90 percent of the town's property as agriculture and hillside conservation districts. The new regulations will limit property owners to get special use permits for these properties. That means residents can basically live or farm on the property. Only about 38 acres in the town would be available for commercial development.
Butchko then called for a vote to approve the revised LUR and to schedule another public meeting. Haar commented, let's get this revised document out to the public first and then we can schedule a meeting. Butchko said no, "I want to move on this now."
A vote was then called. Two council members voted against and two voted for the revised regulations. Haar and Dunbar voted "no" and council members Shona Freeman and Michael Haff voted "yes." Butchko broke the tie and voted "yes" to approve. Haar said, "Well, you got your power play Stephen."
When asked about the key changes for the revised LUR plan (changed after the August public meeting), Butchko answered in an email:
The "Best Practices" section (former section 1.0) was removed.
The hydro plant and its canals property are no longer in the "Municipal and Public Purpose District." The two hydro plant parcels will be zoned to match their neighboring districts.
The "Scenic Overlay District" was removed and "Visual Impact Assessment" was pared down.
Recreational vehicles may be used as living/or sleeping accommodations in Lakeshore Residential 1 and 2 if they are located on otherwise vacant parcels, located within the buildable portion of the lot, and are connected to a septic system or holding tank approved by the Keuka Watershed Improvement Cooperative (KWIC).
The protection of agricultural uses is more clearly stated (e.g., right-to-farm provision was moved to section 3.0(K)(1); fences used for agricultural uses were specifically exempted from the fence regulations in section 3.0(C)(4).
The proposed LUR divides Wayne into 10 land use zoning districts: three for lakeshore residences, two for hillside conservation, one for agricultural use, one corridor district, one for industrial development, one for hamlet-scale development and one for municipal use. There would also be one overlay district.
Butchko said these regulations are intended to address ongoing innovations in the area's real estate and replace the current "one shoe fits all" approach, which includes the vast majority of the town in one single agricultural district. The revised plan can be viewed in detail at the town of Wayne's website.
The next town of Wayne public hearing for the LUR document is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 20 at 6 p.m. in the town building.