The Journal Register (Medina, NY)

October 3, 2012

More needed for 'comprehensive' plan

By Jim Krencik
Medina Journal-Register

Medina Journal-Register — ALBION — The two-year process to update the central planning document for the village and town of Albion is nearing completion, but multiple residents requested more detail be put into the 200-page plan before it is finalized.

A standing-room only crowd packed the Albion Town Board’s meeting Monday, with members of the committee who drew up the plan offering explanations about proposed zoning changes and residents calling voicing their concerns about a few scant sections.

“(The plan) is good for the village, but the town fell through the cracks,” said resident Dawn Allen, who expressed that another business park for high-tech companies should be among the zoning recommendations. “I’m asking the town to delay.”

Albion Mayor Dean Theodorakos, one of about a dozen committee members at the meeting, said there was space for more detail but didn’t want further delays. The village held a public hearing on the comprehensive plan last month.

“We continuously asked for public involvement,” Theodorakos said. “There’s room for improvement. We can get people involved, but need to wrap this up.”

Among the detailed proposals made in the plan are setting aside swaths of agricultural land from residential development, which committee member Hugh Dudley compared to the industrial and commercial districts already in place.

”Land is a basic part of farming,” Dudley said. “We not making more. It’s a limited resource and once you pave over viable farmland it’s not farmland anymore.”

The proposed plan brought out issues that draw passion from town residents, like the possibility that landfill operation could resume at the McKenna and Orleans Sanitary landfill sites.

Wearing yellow pins, members of Stop Polluting Orleans County presented the board with “stronger language” prohibiting more landfilling. The current language, Johnston said, echoes the town’s solid waste law.

”Our Village and Town resources include crucial physical, ecological, social, aesthetic, recreational, agricultural, historical, and economic assets and preservation of these assets must be maintained to protect and promote the health, safety, and general welfare of our present and future residents,” reads SPOC’s requested revision. “Further landfilling will adversely and unalterably impact these assets and is completely inconsistent with preservation of them. The Village and Town must continue to prohibit further landfilling in any form.”

Supervisor Dennis Stirk assured the group that future landfilling was “a dead issue.”

”The law says no more landfilling,” Stirk said when asked about the board’s intentions. “We all support that.”

The town and village will be able to make changes to the plan, an update to the municipalities’ 1996 document, both before it is taken up by the County Planning Board and after that board makes its recommendations.