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Town Comprehensive Plan

"Whether the plan is labeled comprehensive, master, or general, we are, in most instances, describing the same thing: putting down on paper the hopes, dreams, and aspirations a community holds for itself.

"Michael Chandler - "Ten Steps to Preparing a Master Plan"

Millbrook Matters applauds the efforts of the Town of Washington and the Village of Millbrook to revise their Comprehensive Plans. Most communities now know that a Comprehensive Plan needs to be a living document and should be periodically changed so that the hopes and dreams of the residents are reflected in the municipality's own vision of its future.

The Village has held public discussions about their Comprehensive Plan, which have raised issues important to residents.

Conversely, the Town of Washington has been in the process of examining their plan since the summer of 2007 without any public discourse. Various members of the community have attended the Town of Washington Comprehensive Plan "workshops", which do not allow questions from residents. There is some evidence that the Steering Committee views growth as both necessary and inevitable. We do not yet know if the community as a whole shares that feeling.

In the end, the real measure of the success or failure of the Comprehensive Plan update will be whether the quality of life enjoyed by the residents of the community actually improves as a result of the plan. Unfortunately, most residents of the town will not have a say in their own future until the process (if it continues on the present path) is close to finished.

Read Millbrook Matters' notes on Town Comprehensive Plan meetings.

Comprehensive Plan Review Meeting


October 08, 2012

The Town Board will hold a workshop meeting for review of the Comprehensive Plan on THURSDAY, OCTOBER 25 AT 7 P.M., at the Town Hall. It is IMPORTANT that you be there!

After years of hard work on the part of the committee and the public, the plan that will determine the future of our community is approaching completion. But it is not final yet: by law, at a date yet to be announced, the Town Board must also hold one or more public hearings before the Comprehensive Plan can be formally adopted.

Special Board Meeting-Comprehensive Plan Review


September 13, 2012


Present: Gary Ciferri, Town Supervisor
Karen Mosca, Councilwoman
Albert DeBonis, Councilman
Robert Audia, Councilman
Laura Hurley, Bookkeeper
John Gifford, Attorney
Josh Mackey, Comprehensive Plan Committee Chairperson

Supervisor Ciferri called this special meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the presence of a small audience. The purpose of this meeting is for the board to conduct its first official review of the draft comprehensive plan presented to them by the Comprehensive Plan Committee.

Robert Audia voiced his opinion that the board should consider the comprehensive plan as a plan of the people and to avoid injecting their own personal views and convictions into the process.

Draft Comprehensive Plan Now Out of Committee


June 23, 2012

The recently released Town of Washington Comprehensive Plan reaffirms what most residents have been saying all along: They generally like the town the way it is and want it to stay that way for the future.

The forty one pages Plan contains five Goals that expand upon the direction spelled out in the Vision Statement. Details in each of the Goals provide the framework for the vision to become reality.

Goal I: Keep the Town Scenic and Rural and the Village the Area's One Center builds upon a strong community consensus that our natural environment as well as our scenic and historical attributes, are extremely valuable.

Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee Meeting

MM Notes
January 23, 2012

Present: Josh Mackey, Chairman
David Strayer, Member
Tim Marshall, Member
Karen Mosca, Member
Jerry Baker, Member
Maureen King, Member
Nikki Caul, Secretary

Mr. Mackey opened the meeting at 6:00 p.m. to a room filled with residents. He stated that the topic of discussion tonight would be to continue discussion on Goal 4, Strengthen the Village Center.

Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee Meeting

MM Notes
December 14, 2011

Present: Josh Mackey, Chairman
Dave Strayer, Member
Tim Marshall, Member
Jerry Baker, Member
Nikki Caul, Secretary


The meeting, which began at 6:00 p.m., produced a fairly large crowd with some new faces. Josh Mackey gave a brief overview of the function and the history of the town’s master plan.

Mr. Mackey explained that after each meeting the committee prepares a report of the discussions held at that meeting.

Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee Meeting

MM Notes
November 28, 2011

Present: Karen Mosca
Maureen King
Jerry Baker
Tim Marshall
Nikki Caul, Secretary

Ms. Mosca announced that the purpose of tonight’s meeting is to discuss Goal #4, Strengthen the Village Center.

Ms. Mosca read the five draft objectives prepared by Consultant Maureen King:

1.

Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee Meeting

MM Notes
October 27, 2011

Present: Josh Mackey, Chairperson
Jerry Baker, Member
Dave Strayer, Member
Tim Marshall, Member
Maureen King, Member
Nikki Caul, Secretary


Josh Mackey called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. He stated that he, Karen Mosca and Maureen King participated in a conference call with Margaret Irwin from River Street Consulting Group. A formal protocol was adopted which stipulates that at the conclusion of each meeting one of the committee members will submit an outline of what was discussed to Ms. Irwin.

Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee Meeting

MM Notes
September 29, 2011

Present: Josh Mackey, Chair
Tim Marshall, Member
David Strayer, Member
Jesse Baker, Member
Karen Mosca, Member
Maureen King, Member
Nikki Caul, Secretary


Mr. Mackey called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. He stated that since Margaret Irwin, consultant from River Street Consulting firm, was unable to attend tonight’s meeting, the agenda item relating to Quality of Life will be postponed until the next meeting.

At the last meeting, David Haight, a representative from Farmland Trust, gave a presentation to the committee members where he offered many ideas and suggestions as to how the town’s comprehensive plan might help protect farmland.

Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee Meeting

MM Notes
August 18, 2011

Present: Josh Mackey, Chairman
Jerry Baker, Member
Dave Strayer, Member
Tim Marshall, Member
Leila Jabour, River Street Consulting
Margaret Irwin, River Street Consulting
Nikki Caul, Secretary

Josh Mackey called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. The meeting began with a review of the June 13 and July 25 minutes.

Mr. Mackey reminded everyone that at the conclusion of the previous meeting, it was agreed to continue discussing Goal #3.

Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee Meeting

MM Notes
July 25, 2011

Present: Josh Mackey, Chairperson
Karen Mosca, Member
Jerry Baker, Member
Dave Strayer, Member
Tim Marshall, Member
Leila Jabour, River Street Consulting
Margaret Irwin, River Street Consulting
Nikki Caul, Secretary

Josh Mackey called the meeting to order at 7:05 pm and said the committee’s agenda consists of a discussion of Goal #3, Protect Land, Water and the Natural Environment. It will also consist of a short discussion on old business.

Mr. Mackey reminded everyone of the ground rules: raise your hand and wait until you are called upon before speaking and keep comments brief and to the point.

Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee Meeting

MM Notes
May 02, 2011

Present: Josh Mackey
Jerry Baker
Maureen King
Karen Mosca
Leila Jabour, River Street Consulting
Margaret Irwin, River Street Consulting


Josh Mackey called the meeting to order at 7:02 p.m.

Public Participation Rules: Josh explained that in order for the committee to effectively and efficiently perform the work that is before them, the committee has established rules for the public where they must: 1) raise their hand if they wish to speak, wait to be acknowledged and then identify themselves. 2) Not speak over one another so what is being said can be heard by all, and 3) not engage in personal attacks or arguments. This will provide the public ample opportunity to speak while allowing the meetings to proceed in a more orderly fashion, said Mackey.

Comprehensive Plan Committee Endorses Vision Statement - We Think


April 22, 2011

The role of new visioning statement in determining the goals for the comprehensive plan was the main topic of discussion at the April 4th comprehensive plan workshop.

Vision Statement Discussion Margaret Irwin of River Street Planning said, "As an advisor to the Committee I would see no reason to change a word of it."

Yet she submitted a fifteen page compilation of comments and recommendations, many of which were no longer relevant. For example, even though housing and commercial development in the town are not part of the new vision statement, they STILL continue to appear on Ms.

Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee Meeting

MM Notes
April 04, 2011

Present: Josh Mackey
Maureen King
Karen Mosca
Kate Farrell
Jesse Bontecou
Tim Marshall
Jerry Baker
Leila Jabour, River Street
Margaret Irwin, River Street
Nikki Caul, Secretary


Josh Mackey called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. announcing that he would like to begin focusing on setting goals. Mr. Mackey said that there are three professional planners in attendance: Tony Sloan, Margaret Irwin and Leila Jabour.

Comprehensive Plan Visioning Workshop

MM Notes
March 05, 2011

The meeting began at 9:14 a.m. with about 120 community members in attendance, the majority of whom were permanent residents.

Josh Mackey, Chair of the Comprehensive Plan Committee, began the workshop welcoming all the residents who were in attendance. He said the Comprehensive Plan Committee’s job is to facilitate and not to interject their own beliefs or agendas.

A Vision for the Town of Washington, New York

Anthony R. Sloan
January 28, 2011

Rural character: It defines our landscape just as it did in 1950 and even 2011. Wooded hills and vast tracts of farmland remain visual delights and the farms themselves continue as economic engines. Equestrian pursuits are important as ever. Riding trails, running through the properties of many landowners, are another indication of a shared rural life.

What Kind of Town Do You Want to Live In?


January 18, 2011

On Saturday, February 5th at 9. am, at the Firehouse, there will be a very important meeting regarding the Visioning Statement for the Town of Washington Comprehensive Plan. Despite having the results of the community survey, and the minutes of several subsequent meetings where town residents' comments confirmed the results of the community survey, the comprehensive plan committee want to hold yet another public meeting in which residents will again be asked to vote on the priorities of the visioning statement.

At first review, the draft Visioning Statement  contains many of the key priorities that were selected by residents as most important to them in the Town Survey that was completed last year.

Comprehensive Plan Moves Forward


January 04, 2011

Highlights from the Dec. 6th Comprehensive Plan Workshop.
Read the full write-up here.

A Feb. 5th Community-wide Public Meeting and Vote on the Draft Vision Statement from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Highlights from the Dec. 6th Comprehensive Plan Workshop


January 03, 2011

The comprehensive plan committee held a workshop on December 6, 2010 as part of its ongoing series of monthly workshops. The next one will be January 3. On February 5, there will be a community-wide public meeting to discuss and vote on the Comprehensive Plan Draft Vision Statement. More detailed notes may be read here.

The workshop meeting lasted two hours.

Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee Meeting

Millbrook Matters Notes
January 03, 2011

Present: Josh Mackey, Chair
Maureen King
Kate Farrell
Jesse Bontecou
David Strayer
Karen Mosca
Jerry Baker
Bob Audia
Nikki Caul, Secretary



The meeting was called to order by Josh Mackey at 6:00 p.m.

Minutes: The minutes of the December 6, 2010 meeting were unanimously approved.

Comprehensive Plan Website: Josh indicated that he has met with a consultant in regard to establishing a website dedicated to the comprehensive plan. Mr.

Town of Washington Comprehensive Plan Land Use Committee Comments and Recommendations


December 15, 2010

It is clear that there is a high degree of satisfaction throughout the town with the existing land uses and an equally strong desire for that to continue in the future.

These are the goals for our future that are strongly valued by all segments of our community.

  • maintain a rural atmosphere and environment
  • preserve and protect scenic beauty
  • retain the look and feel of a small town community

Land Use is the backbone for implementing the visions, goals and actions that are in keeping with what we have learned from community input.

Land Use recommendations should work toward implementing what was expressed by the public.

Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee Meeting

MM Meeting Notes
December 06, 2010

Present: Josh Mackey
Karen Mosca
Maureen King
Tim Marshall


Minutes: The minutes from the October 12, 2010 and the November 1, 2010 meetings were approved.

Representative at Next Town Board Meeting: Bob Audia agreed to provide a report to the town board for the month of December.

Next Meeting: The next meeting will be held on January 3, 2011 at 6:00 p.m.

Goals and Action Plan: Current draft goals:

Natural, healthy environment
Scenic, rural landscape
High quality of life
Working farms
A vibrant Village of Millbrook and Hamlet of Mabbettsville

Background: It was explained that the above goals were formulated in April, 2010 and discussed at the May 22, 2010 public meeting.

Town of Washington Board Workshop: The Reorganization of the Comprehensive Plan Committee

MM Meeting Notes
September 27, 2010

Present:
Town Officials: Florence Prisco, Town Supervisor
Stephen Turletes, Town Board Member
Michael Murphy, Town Board Member
Robert Audia, Town Board Member & CP Liaison
William Murphy, Town Board Member
Mary Alex, Town Clerk
Josh Mackey, Planning Board Chair
John Gifford, Attorney
Rebecca Valk, Attorney

Village Officials: Laura Hurley, Mayor
Tom Whalen, Village Trustee & CP liaison

C.P. Committee: Sub-Committee Chairs: Maureen King, Karen
Mosca, Tim Marshall, Jesse Bontecou, Jerry
Baker, and David Strayer.
Nikki Caul, Secretary

River Street: Margaret Irwin, John Holehan, Leila Jabour

The meeting began at 7:00 p.m. with such a large number of residents in attendance that there was standing room only.

Future of Town Comprehensive Plan Takes a Sudden Turn


September 22, 2010

On Monday, September 27th, at 7 pm at the town hall, there will be a special meeting of the Town Board to discuss the future of the Town of Washington's Comprehensive Plan.

It is important for people to attend and express their opinions at what may prove to be a pivotal meeting for what might happen next to our comprehensive plan and by extension the future of the town.

Detailed coverage of the events leading up to this emergency meeting can be found in these articles from the Millbrook Independent and the Millerton News.

The Town is holding this meeting due to the sudden resignation of three and perhaps all four of the Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee (CPSC) members while they are still in the midst of working on the plan.

What We Said At The May 22 Public Meeting


July 22, 2010

The transcript of the public's comments from the Comprehensive Plan Committee's public meeting of May 22 at the Home and Farm Center was finished on June 7th and distributed to the committee. However, despite repeated assurances from the committee that all comments from the public - recorded during the group sessions on the large pieces of white paper - were to be posted on the Town website as soon as the planners could type them up, the comprehensive plan committee neither released the transcript nor posted it.

Millbrook Matters obtained an official copy on July 19 by using the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL).

Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee Holds Workshop

Public and Press Were Not Notified by the Town or Committee
July 12, 2010

Following on the heels of an incident at the start of the May 22nd meeting where the public was told by River Street Planner Margaret Irwin,” If you’re not happy, you can go”, tension was again high at the June 28 comprehensive plan committee’s workshop meeting.

The public and press learned of the meeting only through a chance call to Town Clerk Mary Alex, who then posted the meeting on the town website.

When the public began to ask questions, Co-chair Don Hanson insisted public participation be held to the end of the meeting. He later limited how many people could speak, by closing the meeting with several people still waiting to be heard.

Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee Meeting


June 28, 2010

Present: Dr. Tom Beaumont, Co-Chairperson; Don Hanson, Co-Chairperson; Frank Genova; Jerry Baker; Dr. David Strayer; Don Weller; Karen Mosca; Tim Marshall

Tentative Schedule Prepared by River Street:   Dr. Beaumont announced that River Street Consulting Group has provided the steering committee with a copy of a suggested schedule of next steps which forecasts a complete, approved plan by April, 2011.

Observations and Highlights From The May 22, 2010 Comprehensive Plan Public Meeting


June 16, 2010

At one of the largest turnouts on record for a Town of Washington public meeting, some 150 residents packed the meeting room of the Farm and Home center on route 44 to discuss their wishes for the town's future, as the Comprehensive Plan continues to evolve. This was the third meeting of this type, which, along with a widely publicized community survey, was designed to establish what the residents of the community want and do not want for their future.

Our Observations


People are very satisfied with the community they live in. The sentiments “preserve and protect”, and “don't fix what’s not broken” were shared by most participants.

Town of Washington Comprehensive Plan Workshop


May 22, 2010

The Town of Washington Comprehensive Plan Committee held a workshop session on Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 9:00 AM at the Millbrook Farm & Home Center on Route 44, in the Town of Washington.

The Meeting began with Don Hanson calling the room to order and welcoming the residents. He then introduced Margaret Irwin of River Street Planning & Development. Margaret read the draft of the vision statement and explained that the room would be breaking into smaller groups and discussing each goal individually.

Affordable Housing is Best Suited for the Village

Millbrook Matters Update
May 14, 2010

In an effort to keep all our readers abreast of the many topics that have been discussed by the Town of Washington Comprehensive Plan Committee as it worked to draft a "visioning statement", we are including a letter to the editor that was recently published in the Millerton News.

Millbrook Matters believes that all members of our community deserve as healthy a quality of life as possible and that the best way to achieve that goal is though smart growth and wise town planning. We believe in the development of old footprints before breaking new ground: this ensures the continued vitality of our present commercial and residential center, the village of Millbrook, while preserving the rural look and feel of the town, and protecting our open spaces and farmland.

The need for affordable housing will certainly be discussed at the May 22nd Community Action Planning Meeting.

Important Information from Millbrook Matters

Millbrook Matters Update
May 01, 2010

Millbrook Matters Updates are designed to make it easier for you to keep track of what's going on in the community.

In this update are highlights from our full coverage of the last three Comprehensive Plan Committee Meetings:

The Next Public Visioning and Goals Meeting Is To Be Held Saturday, May 22nd, From 9 am To 12 pm Possibly the last chance for people to comment before the Comprehensive Plan document becomes final. The meeting will take place at the Farm and Home Center on Rt. 44.

Comprehensive Plan Meeting

Millbrook Matters Notes
April 05, 2010

Dr. Beaumont opened the meeting at 6:30 pm with an announcement that the town is very fortunate to have received an Agricultural Protection Grant in the amount of $25,000. Total grant money received thus far for funding the town’s comprehensive plan is $85,000.

Comprehensive Plan Meeting

Millbrook Matters Notes
March 25, 2010

Present: Don Hanson, Chair; Dr. Thomas Beaumont, Chair; Dan Weller; Dave Strayer; Frank Genova; Jerry Baker; Maureen King; Howard Schuman; Stan Morse

Dr. Beaumont opened the meeting at 6:30 p.m. He openly acknowledged and thanked Maureen King, Howard Schuman, Dave Strayer and Dan Weller for their work on developing the two draft visioning statements that will be discussed this evening.

Town Comprehensive Plan Meeting


February 22, 2010

Present: Don Hanson, Chair;Dr. Thomas Beaumont, Chair; Dan Weller; Dave Strayer; Frank Genova; Howard Schuman; Jerry Baker; Stan Morse; Tim Marshall

Stan Morse introduced The Millbrook Independent’s newly recruited reporter, Olesia Polkhii. Ms. Polkhii has lived in the Ukraine and Canada and has very recently moved to Millbrook.

What Do We Most Want For Our Future

Comprehensive Plan Survey Results Ranked by Priorities
December 10, 2009

The Survey Results
Using the survey data supplied by River Street Planning & Development, the town’s hired consultants, which the Town of Washington posted on the town website, Millbrook Matters has compiled a complete list of the priorities based on how the residents answered the Comprehensive Plan Survey, arranging them from the most preferred to the least preferred items that the Town should work on for the future.

The results: Protecting and preserving the Environment, Open Space, and Agriculture dominated the top of the list of what most people felt were important. Housing issues were at the bottom, with eight out of the nine housing priorities questions ranking at or in the lowest quartile. The exception was support for helping seniors to remain in the homes, which was slightly above the mid point level in approval rating.

The Second Comprehensive Plan Visioning Meeting

Millbrook Matters Notes
November 13, 2009

Dr. Beaumont, Chair of the Updated Comprehensive Plan Committee, welcomed all those in attendance. He apologized to those who also had attended the October 28 meeting, as his introduction would be repeated for the benefit of newcomers.

Letter to the Town Comprehensive Plan Committee

Stan C. Morse, Trustee, Village of Millbrook
November 13, 2009

To: Dr. Tom Beaumont, Chair, Town of Washington Comprehensive Plan Committee

As both local taxpayer and Village official, I thank the Town of Washington Comprehensive Plan Committee and formally acknowledge the efforts of the Committee in updating the Town’s 1987 Master Plan. It takes concerted effort and much time on the part of many involved citizens to bring about such an effort, and the work of the Committee should be formally recognized and thanked.

Since the first public visioning meeting of October 28, I’ve been asked by several Village residents about the Town’s Comprehensive Plan.

The First Comprehensive Plan Visioning Meeting


November 09, 2009

The first Town of Washington Comprehensive Plan Visioning Meeting took place Wednesday, October 28 at the Millbrook Firehouse at 7 P.M. It was well attended. For those of you who could not attend, or would like to participate again, there will be a second meeting on Friday, November 13, at the same time and place. We encourage everyone to get there.

Comprehensive Plan Visioning Meeting

Millbrook Matters Notes
October 28, 2009

Dr. Beaumont, co-chair of the Updated Comprehensive Plan Committee, welcomed all those in attendance.  He publicly thanked all those who worked on the various sub-committees as well as the town’s administrative staff.    Dr. Beaumont announced that the survey results have been received and are available on the town’s web site and they will be reviewed tonight as well.  

Comprehensive Plan Visioning Meetings (And Why You Should Attend)


October 23, 2009

What is a Comprehensive Plan?
In "Ten Steps to Preparing a Master Plan" Michael Chandler, a community planning expert, writes "Whether the plan is labeled comprehensive, master, or general, we are, in most instances, describing the same thing: putting down on paper the hopes, dreams, and aspirations a community holds for itself." He goes on to say, "The real measure of a comprehensive plan is whether the quality of life enjoyed by the residents of a community actually improves as a result of the plan."

A Very Brief History of our Comprehensive Plan Update
In early 2007, the Washington Town Board appointed a Comprehensive Planning Committee, and charged them with the task of updating the 1987 Comprehensive Plan for the Town of Washington. Contrary to standard procedure, which begins with surveys and public meetings, the four-person Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee chose to proceed without public involvement for two years, until this summer when they released their survey questionnaire and announced plans for two “Visioning” meetings this Fall.

How Should We Envision Visioning?

Anthony R. Sloan
October 22, 2009

You may have seen the signs announcing the Town’s visioning workshops. You may also
know that there will be two such sessions, one on Wednesday, October 28th and the other
on Friday, November 13th. Both are scheduled to start at 7pm at the Millbrook Fire House.

But just what is visioning and how do people go about it?

"Thank You For Caring" - The Town Visioning Meetings


October 21, 2009



We want to thank the over 200 donors, hosts, and supporters who attended our first Millbrook Matters Autumn Party! We hope that you enjoyed it as much as we did! It was a great opportunity to get together, eat, drink, listen to music, and exchange ideas.
 
The message of the evening’s discussions was simple and basic: “If you care deeply about a place, you must be watchful and protect those things most important to you.”  
 

Mish Tworkowski welcomed everyone on behalf of Millbrook Matters.

Does Size Matter?


August 03, 2009

If you are a town, most definitely! In a very small municipality the shared taxpayer cost of providing basic services may be high.  So it might seem that to increase the number of residents – in other words, to grow – would be a simple way to reduce taxes in a community.

But, sooner or later, the law of diminishing returns sets in. The cost of infrastructure improvements and expanded services necessitated by the population increase outweighs the additional tax revenues generated through growth.

The Gables Manufactured (Mobile) Home Park


August 01, 2009

As pointed out by Ilana Nilsen in the July 20th edition of her widely distributed email of weekly events, The Gables Manufactured (Mobile) Home Park was discussed by the Master Plan Steering Committee on May 5th, 2009 (see our transcript for details) . Steering Committee member Jim Shequine suggested The Gables as one example of the type of development the town might consider if the results of the community survey indicate that residents want the new Master Plan to focus on affordable housing over the next ten years. But in the end it's not just Jim Shequine, but all the people who live here, who must decide what they feel are the best decisions to insure the future they envision for the Town of Washington.

The Gables consists of 231 units, on 81 acres, each with an average lot size of approximately an eighth of an acre.

Next Comprehensive Plan: Control Development and Protect Our Environment

Julia Widdowson
June 03, 2008

Controlling development and protecting the environment are the lofty goals of the new Town of Washington Comprehensive Plan, according to Dr. Tom Beaumont, co-chair of the Comprehensive Plan Committee.

How and whether the town will achieve this is still in question.

The Comprehensive Plan formed an RFP (Request for Proposals) committee to help select and hire professional planners.

Statement to The Town of Washington Board

Anthony R. Sloan
March 13, 2008

I am a resident of the Village of Millbrook. I am here to discuss “growing pains.” Ours. Let me begin by reading several excerpts from a story of the September 12 Journal News:

“It was just five years ago that Putnam County – with its rural charm and large, inexpensive houses -- was seen as a sanctuary from Westchester’s rising taxes and home prices.

Those were the days.”

The article then goes on to detail the rising housing costs and property taxes.

Statement to The Town of Washington Board

Anthony R. Sloan
November 08, 2007

I am Anthony R. Sloan of the Village of Millbrook.

This evening, I am distributing copies of my October 10, 2007, letter to the co-chairs of the Town’s Comprehensive Master Plan Update Committee. As you see on your copy, the Town received this letter on October 10th.

Letter to Town Comprehensive Plan Committee

Anthony R. Sloan
October 10, 2007

Dear Dr. Beaumont and Mr. Hanson,

At the September 27th comprehensive plan workshop, Dr. Beaumont suggested I submit my thoughts in writing.

Suggested Changes to Town Zoning Laws

Julia Widdowson
April 30, 2007

The comments below are my thoughts on specific ordinances we need to incorporate into our zoning law.

A Master Plan review is long overdue.However, once the plans have been updated, the most important thing is for the Town and Village to truly consult their Master Plans as the templates for all that they do both now and in the future.

Following are my suggestions for new ordinances:

CLUSTER DEVELOPMENT ORDINANCE
Our subdivision code should contain language requiring the applicant to prove that clustering is not feasible owing to site characteristics; otherwise clustering should be the rule in our community to protect open space, natural resources and habitat.

At the Emma subdivision, for example, had clustering been required, one of the region’s last remaining forest blocks would not have been broken up, and much valuable habitat would have been saved.

Diagnosing Your Community Before You Plan

Joel S. Russell
April 01, 2007

"Prepare a comprehensive plan" is often the prescription planners suggest to solve the difficult development, conservation, and related problems that confront their community. But does it always make sense to undertake an exhaustive multiyear planning process that can cost tens of thousands of dollars or more, and may not even resolve the critical issues currently facing the community?