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Comments fly on proposed land use code changes

Tuesday, July 22, 2014 - Updated: 5:47 PM


Express Summer Intern

PISECO -- Proposed changes to the Town of Arietta Land Use Ordinance were presented to 15 members of the public during a hearing Saturday, July 19, at Piseco Community Hall. The hearing will continue Wednesday evening, July 23, at 6 p.m.

Nicole T. Allen, a planning services manager with Laberge Group Ltd., Albany, presented a summary of the revisions and proposed amendments to the land use code. The group is a surveying and planning firm that provides a wide range of consulting services.

Over the last two years the Laberge Group has been collaborating with the Land Use Committee and the Adirondack Park Agency to "make those substantive changes and bring them up to current processes," according Allen.

Originally adopted in 1976, only minor changes have been made to the Town of Arietta Land Use Ordinance. Said Allen, "There have been periodic amendments throughout the years, but they've been very minor and not substantive and this is the first time the town is taking a harder look."

The Comprehensive Plan from 2009 set the stage for the revisions. Various updates were made in order to conform to APA and New York State Department of Health and Department of Environmental Conservation regulations.

Several members of the public voiced concerns regarding the proposed revisions.


Lee Billington questioned the height prohibition on boathouses. He also commented on the amendment that would prohibit water hook-ups in accessory buildings.

Taking water facilities out of accessory buildings such boathouses and garages, he says, is "foolish. It is not helping to protect our lake. It's helping people to pollute the lake more."

Billington pointed to proposed limits on dock lengths and depths, which he feels is "unenforceable." Additionally, he protested labeling rental homes as a commercial use and proposed rebuilding restrictions on nonconforming structures.

Billington touched on the absence of home daycares and prohibitions on camping on SR1 (single-family residence) properties, as well as the home occupation changes.

He made several comments against the proposed 60 consecutive days limit on signs for selling property and against proposed wind turbine regulations.

Billington volunteered in the start up of the land use code revision process in 2007 and 2009.


Eugene Scott also spoke on the proposed Clustered Residential Development regulations. "We may have unintentionally created an open license to ignore the existing density requirements," he stated.

Al Price said proposals that reference the mean high water mark on Piseco Lake are unsupported, as there is no APA published elevation for the lake.

Todd Ackerman said the proposed limits on the number of chickens and cows allowed per owner are "unduly restrictive." He also spoke against requiring six square feet of floor area per bird, stating, "That's a luxurious living space for a chicken."

Written comments concerning the proposed changes will be accepted through the end of the month. Should any considerable changes be made another public hearing would be held.

The revised code can be found on the Town of Arietta website.


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