CHATHAM – The Town Board has adopted Local Law #1 of 2015, a 12-month moratorium on special use permits and site plan reviews for parcels located on unpaved town roads. The board acted on the measure at the regular monthly meeting Thursday, February 19, passing it by a vote of four to one.
The board held a workshop meeting earlier this month to discuss the temporary ban and a public hearing Tuesday, February 17. Supervisor Jesse DeGroodt said at last Thursday’s meeting that he had received 22 letters in support of the moratorium and two against. The town Zoning Board of Appeals had been reviewing an application for proposed summer tennis camp for young people from New York City on Thomas Road, which is unpaved. Several residents of that road and the surrounding area came to the earlier meetings to protest the camp, saying it was not in line with the town’s comprehensive plan.
Board member Jean Rohde, who voted in support of the moratorium, said that the Zoning Implementation Committee (ZIC) has been meeting to review changes to town zoning laws since the comprehensive plan was approved by the board several years ago. She said the committee will review the issue of commercial activity on unpaved roads soon.
Board member Henry Swartz voted against the moratorium, saying he was “very opposed to it.” He said that the tennis camp project would have been approved under the comprehensive plan and he didn’t approve of implementing a moratorium only to address the concerns of some people about one project.
The tennis camp plan was withdrawn by the property owner who proposed it several days before the board adopted the moratorium.
Also at the meeting:
- The board looked at plans from the town’s engineering firm, Barton and Loguidice, to redesign the intersection of Route 295 and Albany Turnpike at the bridge over the railroad tracks in East Chatham. The plans included a temporary solution, which would use cones and paint to create a single approach at a 90 degree angle from state Route 295, a step the town could take on its own this year. The longer term solution would involve more permanent barriers, opening up the pedestrian walkway on the bridge and making the intersection of Frisbee Street with the state highway also a 90-degree angle. The board will discuss the designs further at the next Town Board meeting on March 19, which will be held at the East Chatham Fire House,
- The board considered whether to request lowering the speed limit on Rock City Road. Mr. Swartz said that the county would have to do a speed study and then request that the state reduce the speed limit.
“Most likely it would get turned down,” he said of requests to lower the speed limit. He asked that the board write a letter to the sheriff and State Police asking them to monitor that speeding on that road.
The next regular board meeting will be March 19 at 7 p.m. in the East Chatham Firehouse, 14 Frisbee Street.