20220202_165702.jpg

Report: Final "Conservation Development" Hearing, Wednesday, 8/31/22


On Wednesday night (8/31/22), in a final continuation of the public hearing on proposed, controversial amendments to a residential development ordinance, the majority of the Town Council voted to approve the ordinance, with new, final amendments.


Voting along the partisan divide, most of the proposed amendments stood. Two of them were changed as proposed by Council president Deb Carney.


Among those changed:

- In Section 7D, which covers ownership of open space within a proposed conservation subdivision, the words “is to” were changed to “may be,” allowing owners more authority over how such open space might be owned.


- In part E of that section, wording was changed from “The Planning Commission may request that specific areas of open space be publicly owned where necessary to contribute to a connecting greenway system or to provide public access to open space […]” to "The Planning Commission may request but not require that specific areas of open space be publicly owned where necessary to contribute to a connecting greenway system or to provide public access to open space […]”


- In Section D, covering permitted uses for proposed conservation developments, the word “only” was removed from “Only single-family detached homes, agricultural and forest land preserved within open space, open space/recreation areas shall be permitted in a conservation development subdivision.”


In additional proposed amendments, Council President Carney proposed including a two-option approach that would give property owners the option to choose the existing cluster development or the new conservation development option. The majority CCA Council voted against it.


In her vote against the final ordinance as amended, Carney said that the town already conserves and protects groundwater and open space in cluster subdivisions, and that the proposed amendments do not address the concerns of property owners who spoke at the public hearings.


However, she said of the amended conservation development ordinance, “I believe what we have now is better than when we started.”


Councilors Carney and Klinger voted against the ordinance as amended, and Councilors Clarkin, Cooper and Van Slyke voted in favor of it.

Recent Posts