Wayne residents speak up about regulations
WAYNE--Town of Wayne residents attended a public hearing Tuesday, Nov. 20 to share their thoughts regarding the new proposed land use regulations.
Town officials have been talking about revising land use regulations for years and this past summer a 112 page draft document was prepared. A public meeting was scheduled in August to get residents' initial comments on the changes. The meeting Nov. 20 was a follow-up to the previous public meetings.
Kurt Falvey was the first person to speak. Falvey said he thinks the town residents are losing property freedom with the new land use regulations. Falvey said, "The current document for a site plan review is one and a half pages in length, the new site plan review document is six pages in length. Which one do you think most residents would prefer?" Falvey said the new regulations are just way too complicated.
Falvey said the town's process of trying to communicate with residents has been flawed and has created a good deal of mis-information. Falvey said the town supervisor, Stephen Butchko, had promised to include all of the comments from the town's summer public meeting about the regulations on a new marked-up copy. Falvey said this didn't happen because many of the comments were his and they simply didn't appear on the revised copy.
Falvey also referred to a document town resident Gary Oborne created about the proposed regulations. Falvey said Oborne has studied the new land use regulation changes and put together a paper comparing the current regulations to the proposed changes.
After the meeting, Oborne told The Observer he has spent some 30 hours studying and comparing the specific changes of the proposed Wayne land use document.
Oborne's comparisons show a number of more stringent regulations for multi-family dwellings, bed and breakfast owners, private garages and sheds, storage units, recreation vehicles, solar panels, home occupation stipulations, manufactured home parks, lodging establishments, retail businesses and service businesses. Lot sizes, building set backs, accessory buildings and structures and outdoor signs carry more restrictions.
However, some land use in the town of Wayne will be less defined with the new proposed regulations. Some of the undefined areas include auto junk yards, sawmills, oil and gas wells, automobile service and storage, excavation operations, construction and demolition debris landfill, transfer station, automotive vehicle repairs, tennis courts, bath house or cabana, boat house, boat house and dock, bridle path and stables, rest home, nursing home or parish house. Oborne says all natural gas or petroleum extraction is prohibited. He also says natural gas storage is prohibited.
Another resident said he tried to go to the town's website to check the details of the land use regulations and the website links were not working correctly.
Resident Nancy Gabel said she is a member of the Wayne planning board and was happy to hear the comments from this meeting. She encouraged more people to attend the monthly meetings where details are put together for many of the town regulations.
Gary Smith, a veteran and Wayne town resident for 52 years, said, "We are losing some freedom with these regulations. I have lived here a long time and I don't like the fact that the town board is going to tell me what I can and can't do on my property."
After a conversation about special use permits in the town, Council Member Julie Haar said, "We need to keep the land use regulations the least complicated that we can and keep them transparent so property owners can understand the law."
Butchko and council members thanked residents for their comments and said he will review the regulations with the concerns from the meeting.
The supervisor said he would welcome any additional comments from other property owners during the next three weeks and then he will provide a revised document for the proposed regulations.