After a year-and-a-half of research, writing and revision, the Town of Lloyd’s Comprehensive Master Plan Update Committee presented its proposed draft to both the Town Board and the public this past Wednesday evening.
Before the information session commenced, town supervisor Paul Hansut publicly acknowledged and commended the committee’s “commitment, and I know that you put countless hours into this. On behalf of the Town Board and the residents, I want to thank you for your efforts.”
David Barton, director of the town’s building department, gave a brief history of the review committee, highlighted major points in the 90-page document and let the public know that he and the committee welcomed their feedback, ideas, concerns and comments in writing, “which will then become part of the permanent record” and can be duly answered or contemplated by the committee and the Town Board.
“Nothing is being voted on tonight,” said Barton. “This is just an informational meeting, as the Town Board was anxious to get this out to the public so that they had ample time to read and respond to the plan.” He noted that a formal public hearing will open on Aug. 28, either at the Town Hall or the Highland Fire Department if more room is required.
“We will hold the public hearing open for at least a few weeks to ensure that the public has the time they need to respond to the plan,” said Hansut. “It is also available online or at Town Hall.”
With that, Barton explained that approximately a year-and-a-half ago, the question was raised as to whether or not the Comprehensive Plan adopted in 2005 was appropriate for 2012. “We had the housing crisis, the market collapse and subsequent economic recession and wanted to make sure that the document that’s a roadmap for growth in our town was still applicable.”
A committee was formed, with the intention of having a diverse group of people with various expertise weigh in on the adequacy of the 2005 plan. They came from the Planning Board, the Zoning Board of Appeals, the Environmental Conservation Committee, the business and farming sector, et cetera.
“We discovered early on that the document was no longer appropriate nor sufficient and we were actually repulsed by it,” said Barton bluntly. “A rewrite was in order, so each member of the committee took one of the 11 chapters, sometimes paired up with others or took on multiple chapters, and reviewed, revised and updated those sections. The committee would weigh in on the draft and then each person would go back and revise again, based on the comments, corrections or suggestions provided.”