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Milo approves subdivision moratorium

MILO—Many of the people who commented during a Milo public hearing, June 21, were generally in favor of the proposed 12 month moratorium on major subdivisions, that the board approved.
However, there was disagreement with an exemption in the proposal that would allow plans for a development on Sisson Road to progress. Developer Lin Hough has already applied for a project that would include 11 homes.
Prior to the start of the hearing, Milo Supervisor John Socha outlined the procedure for the hearing stating, “Speak once and say everything you mean to say. The board is here to listen. The moratorium was proposed because we realized we had some work to do before we put the comprehensive plan into law.”
One member of the audience said she urged each member of the board to consider the will of the people, commenting if a moratorium is the right thing to do, it’s the right thing to do. Several expressed concerns regarding storm water runoff from the slope and the potential effect on Keuka Lake.
 There was considerable comment about the timing of the application for the Sisson Road project and whether this project would be exempt from the moratorium because it had already been approved by the planning board.
Zoning Board of Appeals member Bill Laffin said he had provided the town board with information last month that maintained a project had not officially started until actual building had begun. Socha said he had kept checking with counsel at all times and was advised the Sisson Road project was under the wire. Laffin said, “I hear you say you received legal advice. I wonder how up to date it is.”
During the discussion that took place prior to the board’s vote on the moratorium, councilman Dale Hallings said, “The concern I have is that I have been told when an application is received and approved a clock starts running and basically we have to follow it.  I understand the issue with the comprehensive plan.”
He added, “We’re between a rock and a hard place. Many things have been brought up tonight and there has been a lot of confusion. We have to go by what our attorney and code enforcement officer tell us. I see both sides. If we say the exception is out it goes against everything I’ve heard the last six years.”
The 12 month moratorium was approved later in the meeting with councilman Jim Harris voting no. Harris said he had a problem with the exemption included in the moratorium. Following the vote, Socha said, “The moratorium is in effect. Any application we have in house now is accepted. I want you to know in the past two and a half years this is the toughest thing we have done.”
In other business: The town may withdraw from participation in the Yates County Workman’s Compensation program. Socha said the town is currently paying $44,000 for coverage and private coverage is available for about $19,000. He said the one problem is that coverage for Himrod Fire Department may cost an additional $11,000. Asked why the town has to pay workman’s compensation for the fire department, town Clerk Pat Christensen said it is a legal obligation of the town.
The next board meeting will be at 7 p.m., July 19.

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