NEWFANE—The Selectboard has set a date for a public hearing and possible adoption of the updated Town Plan.
It will take place at the Town Offices on July 16 at 5 p.m., right before the regular Selectboard meeting.
Bob McCandless of the Planning Commission appeared at the June 4 Selectboard meeting to discuss the Town Plan. He noted the document is “an update, not a complete rewrite.”
Administrative Assistant Shannon Meckle explained where Newfane’s Town Plan is in the adoption process, and how it works.
The Planning Commission recently completed their public hearings on the document, and now it’s the Selectboard’s turn to do the same, she said. The Board can hold the hearing on the same day as a Selectboard meeting, and they can vote to adopt it at that meeting.
Selectboard member Gary Delius said the Planning Commissioners “put in a tremendous amount of work on this [...] and they went above and beyond the call of what we expect a board or commission to do.” He noted the commissioners met “from dawn to dusk” every weekend for weeks on end to work on the updated Town Plan.
Once the Town Plan is adopted, the Selectboard’s job is “to reference this at all times [...] as we make our decisions,” Board member Shelly Huber said.
Delius agreed, and pointed out he and his colleagues have recently discussed their goals and objectives. These, he said, should come from the Town Plan. “Otherwise it’s just a piece of paper sitting on a shelf and we don’t want that.”
McCandless told Board members the Planning Commissioners want to hold town officials accountable for their sections of the Town Plan. For example, his commission, the Selectboard, and the Development Review Board should reference the document when creating bylaws and zoning regulations, he said.
McCandless asked for more public input, noting this will make the Town Plan a better document.
Selectboard Chair Marion Dowling made a motion, which passed unanimously, to accept the Town Plan from the Planning Commission, and set the hearing.