talks of planning board
By Dan Hust
FORESTBURGH January 8 Forestburgh Supervisor Bill Sipos recently affirmed his intention to re-establish the town’s planning board in the months ahead.
Abolished and replaced by the town board a year ago, the planning board’s resurrection was promised six months ago but has been delayed by revisions to the rules and regulations which will govern its conduct.
Some wondered openly at Forestburgh’s reorganizational town board meeting Thursday whether Sipos was serious about bringing the planning board back.
“I don’t have a problem with a planning board,” he replied, agreeing that while the town board-as-planning board only tackled a ballfield project in 2012, Forestburgh’s growth will likely require a separate planning board in the future.
But the new planning board will be a different creature from the old. For one, it will likely have five instead of seven members. For another, the new subdivision rules now being drafted will likely limit its authority to larger subdivisions rather than what town board members felt used to be a nitpicking, needlessly costly approach to small, simple subdivision requests.
“The problem with the planning board is now being addressed,” Sipos explained.
One major issue has already been addressed, actually. The town board not only retains lead agency status on the massive Lost Lake housing development (scheduled to formally break ground this spring) but also will maintain primary review control over any such Planned Development Districts (PDDs).
That said, Sipos and his fellow board members indicated they still see a need for a planning board.
“Eventually we are going to re-create the planning board,” promised Councilman John Galligan.
“We have to wait for the subdivision rules and regulations to be reinstalled,” added Sipos.
To list or not to list
The town board was split on Thursday, voting 3-2 against passing resolutions that would authorize the highway department to spend nearly $200,000 on road repairs.
While $56,000 is specifically budgeted for culvert work on Mill Road, the rest is under the discretion of Highway Supt. Dan Hogue Jr. to be used wherever he sees fit on Forestburgh’s 33-mile road network.
Sipos wanted a list of potential road repairs, but Hogue balked, worried that it would dangerously restrict his flexibility in making repairs as they arise.
Hogue also pointed out that, to his recollection, these resolutions had always been passed without a detailed list.
The debate between the two got heated at times, but eventually they agreed to meet and discuss the matter further, with a future board vote expected.