B y Jaime Thomas
Following many months of updating, eliminating and clarifying, the town of Granville has finally come to an agreement about new subdivision regulations.
Though the town board must still vote to approve the new law during its October meeting, all parties involved were satisfied following a joint meeting with the planning board and the public last week.
“In the end, we came to a resolution of where we’re at,” said Town Supervisor Matt Hicks. The meeting, which all the members of both boards attended, followed a couple of heated public hearings on the issue.
Disagreement about the new law began when a professional consultant presented revised subdivision regulations to the town board in July after months of work. Various officials found fault with the law and requested more amendments be made before they readdressed it in August.
During the August meeting, however, more residents showed up and several were unhappy with what they perceived certain facets of the law to be.
Local real estate agent Craig Campbell, for example, expressed that the board was not open enough about their decisions, which could affect property value.
“Why does the town even have the right to say I might want you to give 10 percent of your property to the town? To me that seems downright greedy,” Campbell said at that meeting. “Who decides that?” But Hicks told him he misunderstood some of the requirements and differences of major and minor subdivisions.
After a lengthy discussion the group decided to hold a workshop and hearing last Tuesday, where everyone involved could give input or ask questions.
“I thought it went well; there was a lot of discussion and some explanations that were given, and I thought they made some positive changes,” Campbell said of the law, which expanded from 22 to 66 pages.
Hicks said about half a dozen people came to the meeting, and only a few of them spoke.
“We changed three words in three different areas. It was mostly just questions people had. The town attorney was there to answer questions. Everyone was satisfied,” he said.
Despite its lengthier size, the new law was created as a simplification.
“We’ve been streamlining to make the process clean and to go with current regulations,” said Darlene DeVoe, a professional consultant, in July. “This way it will be a clean process with a nice checklist—that was our mission.”
Campbell previously indicated his concern that the planning board was too self-governed. After Wednesday’s meeting, he was more content.
“Overall, I was very pleased with the outcome. I thought the members had an open discussion. People had a chance to discuss it,” he said.