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Recently, a joint Town Board, Zoning Board of Appeals, Planning Board, and Conservation Advisory Council meeting took place. We discussed ways to improve community outreach and notification. Link beelow[http://greenburghny.swagit.com/play/02052020-1353/2/
On January 30, 2020, a joint Town Board, Zoning Board of Appeals, Planning Board, and Conservation Advisory Council meeting took place in the Town Hall Auditorium. The meeting may be viewed on the Town’s website at the following link: [http://greenburghny.swagit.com/play/02052020-1353/2/
]. Several important land-use matters were discussed, including the topic of how to maximize or improve outreach to residents regarding formal application and/or zoning amendment proposals to the Town (as example: subdivision, site plan, special permit applications, zoning map-text amendments, etc.). Presently, the Town’s procedures proactively consist of: 1) the posting of formal application proposals on the Town website upon filing; 2) staff and land-use Board encouragement of applicants to meet with residents for outreach purposes; and 3) signage posted at the site of a proposal (alerting residents of public hearings or noticed site visits). A fourth, and significant, additional procedure was discussed and welcomed by all in attendance at the joint meeting. Town staff identified that a measure which could be implemented would be to send an email to the geographically relevant civic association president or civic associations presidents, to alert them once a formal land-use application has been filed with the Town of Greenburgh, and that such file is available to be viewed on the Town website or available to be viewed as a hard copy in the Town Hall office of the Department of Community Development and Conservation. Such correspondence would also be sent by mail to surrounding property owners, from the subject site. Although formal applications typically are placed on the Town website for viewing within a day or so of filing, for some residents, the first time that they become aware of an application is by letter notification at the time of a public hearing, which could be several weeks or months after the filing of an application. The steps noted above represent a substantial step towards increasing awareness and public participation. When residents are aware of an application and have questions or concerns, phone calls or meetings with Town staff have proven to be very helpful to both residents and staff. The notification procedure outlined above seeks to facilitate these discussions earlier in the process.
Another proactive measure discussed includes interactive mapping on the Town website that identifies active applications by location. Additionally, the Boards are contemplating procedures which may provide for a designee from the effected civic association or a neighborhood designee to provide comments or questions or to speak on an application at the time of a work session. Presently I am working with Town staff to prepare an opt-in email notification process for residents, to be notified of new applications.
Over the next couple weeks, Town staff will be circulating a map depicting the known or understood boundaries of civic associations in the Town.
Your comments on the notification procedures identified above, are welcome and will be shared with the Town Board, Town staff and other land use Boards. Staff have also reached out to the Council of Greenburgh Civic Associations (CGCA) to identify potential steps to encourage the formation of civic associations in areas of the Town where no association exists, or where an existing association appears to be inactive. If you are a civic association leader in the Town and did not receive an email notification from Planning Commissioner Garrett Duquesne this week, please let me know. We will work to update Town records.