RE: LOCAL LAND USE ADVISORY COMMITTEES
The CAC believes it is important to increase localized community input in land use decisions early in the planning stage, and in an effective and meaningful way. At its November 8 and December 13 meetings, it discussed the proposal for the Town to establish local land use advisory committees.
The CAC unanimously supports this initiative in general concept. Below are implementation elements which the CAC would recommend to the Town Board for consideration:
1. The communities could be the 8 communities identified in the Comprehensive Plan “visioning” process: Donald Park/Jackson Avenue; Edgemont; Hartsdale East; Secor Ridge Road; Fairview; East Irvington; Knollwood; and North Elmsford. Eight would seem to be a manageable number of land use advisory committees, and would have some basis in how communities have previously been considered by the Town for land use planning purposes.
2. The land use advisory committees members would be appointed by the Town Board. Members of the Town Board, Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals or Conservation Advisory Council would not be eligible (since the concept is to get residents involved who are not otherwise involved in the land use process).
3. Each major development project would be submitted to the relevant land use advisory committee(s) prior to any staff recommendation being issued and prior to submission to the relevant approving board(s). If more than one community is involved in a major project, the relevant committees would function as one joint joint committee.
4. Major projects would be any project in which any of the following are proposed: mixed-use (commercial and residential) development; multi-family residential development; commercial development of 10,000 sq. ft or over; constructing four or more residential houses; cutting of 50 or more trees; damning or altering the path of a watercourse; disturbance of land within the boundaries of a wetlands; disturbance of an excessively steep slope (topographical gradient of 35% or more); any project for which a zoning change is required; any project for which a stormwater pollution prevention plan is required; any project for which a SEQRA review is required; [other].
5. The land use advisory committees may request the applicant to furnish it with relevant information, data and projections which the committee reasonably requires in order to make an informed recommendation. Following the completion of such submission, a land use advisory committee would make a recommendation on the project within X days, or such additional time as the committee and applicant agree.
6. The Town Board would appoint a coordinator to assist the local land use advisory committees in their activities and to facilitate information flow between the committees and staff. The coordinator would be a resident (who may or may not be a member of a land use board) who the Town Board identifies as having sufficient experience regarding the Town’s land use approval process. The coordinator would unpaid and would volunteer his/her time.
7. Recommendations of the local land use advisory committees would be for (i) approval of the project, (ii) approval of the project with conditions, or (iii) rejection of the project. But, the recommendations of the land use advisory committees would not be binding on the ultimate approving board(s). However, if the relevant approving board rejects or modifies the recommendation of a land use advisory committee it must do so by the vote a majority of that board plus one, except that conditions may be added upon the vote of a majority of the board.
CONSERVATION ADVISORY COUNCIL
Adopted at the December 13, 2018 Meeting
cc: Town Clerk