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Chatham Town Board poised to vote on proposed zoning law

Jun 27, 2019 2:00 pm
Emilia Teasdale is reporting for The Columbia Paper around 100 people showed up for the June 20 Chatham Town Board meeting. The crowd was so large, the gathering was moved from town hall to the East Chatham Firehouse. Most of those in attendance were there to attack the town's new zoning law. Board members acknowledged that the proposed zoning laws were not perfect, but said the existing regulations from the 1970s need updating. Board member Michael Richardson, who formerly sat on the town’s Zoning Board Appeals, pointed out that there had been four public hearings on the proposed law and that he heard several times that the town board was not listening. “And I have to say the town board is listening to many, many voices. There were compromises,” he said. “At this point, the town board is charged with voting on a proposed new zoning law that has taken nine years to draft, six years by the first implementation committee and then three years by the current Zoning Advisory Committee,” Supervisor Maria Lull said. She thanked the nearly 100 citizens who worked on the Comprehensive Plan and the committees. During public comment, most of the people in the room did not agree with Lull for various reasons. A former member of the town’s ZBA, John Henkel, said the proposed laws were more confusing and would be harder for the ZBA and Planning Board to apply. Several people talked about the laws over-stepping and controlling too much of what people can do on their properties. Others had questions for the board, and still others complained about the board's failure to communicate with residents about the changes. The board will hold an information session on the new zoning regulations 6 p.m., Mon., July 8 at the Tri-Village Fire Company on Route 13 in Old Chatham. Read the full story in The Columbia Paper.