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Planning board reviews Milo's subdivision

PENN YAN—After more than two years of work, the proposed Comprehensive Plan for the town of Milo was referred to the Yates County Planning Board as part of the process of eventual adoption. Consultant Tom Harvey, who worked with the town on the project, attended the meeting to answer questions from planning board members.
The first question was regarding subdivisions, an issue that has been challenging several town planning boards in Yates County. The issue of subdivisions is particularly important to address in agricultural areas and Harvey told the board the plan aims to go to a density standard rather than just size. Harvey said, “The key is to keep density low and to protect agricultural value.” He emphasized the process was very community involved and not his plan, but the town’s plan. He said, “Even if the recommendations were not what was wanted, the town came to consensus.”
Two other issues that were addressed during development of the plan were secondary residences on farms and the Route 14 and Route 14A corridors through Milo. He said the goal was to put definitive limits on the size and appearance of businesses on those corridors. Harvey said surveys, which were sent to property owners throughout the town, including the village of Penn Yan, indicated strongly that keeping the rural character of the town was very important. During discussion of other aspects of the proposed plan, board chairman Jim Ritter reminded members that Comprehensive Plans are not law.
Subdivisions were the subject of another referral to the county board, this time proposed Subdivision law in the town of Jerusalem. A town subcommittee has been working on this topic for several months and committee chairperson Tom Close attended the meeting to answer questions, defining the proposed definitions of major and minor subdivisions. The issue has great impact on large landowners, particularly farmers in the town who periodically have to sell off some property in order to stay in business. Close said grapes and hay are the primary crops grown in the town. Close outlined the system that would be used to indicate when and when there is not a subdivision. He said, “The intent is to preserve the rural nature of the town.” Although the goal is similar to Milo’s, Close said Jerusalem is different.
The board also reviewed the proposed amendments of the stormwater management and erosion control law of the town of Middlesex. All municipal referrals were approved as were two referrals for proposals from individuals in the towns of Jerusalem and Starkey.

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