What do you like and/or dislike about the draft zoning rewrite?
MARGARET HARRISON - Running for Town Supervisor (D/C)
Having worked on this rewrite for more than a year, I am comfortable in saying the intent was for the document to be deliberately detailed with focus on eliminating the ambiguity and interpretation. This lends itself to level and balanced application. We are at the point of receiving public comment on the contents, and the committee and ultimately the town board will make changes to the content accordingly. The process is working, and in the end, the final adopted zoning law will be balanced by the input from the community
CAROL ROPKE WINGERT - Running for Town Supervisor (D/I/Rural Heritage)
The draft zoning rewrite, like the comprehensive plan, is a product of many hours of input from community, legal and professional planners along with our planning, zoning, code enforcement and town board participation. Something important to note is that this draft is based on the comprehensive plan, as the law states that it must be. It takes into account problems we have had in the past as well as foreseeable problems we may have to deal with in the future.
At times zoning is viewed as an impediment to businesses' and personal property owners’ rights to do as they wish with their properties. Actually, it’s a blueprint for our community's many uses to coexist, which in turn is a responsible way for the town to encourage incompatible uses to be close to one another in a manner that each can thrive within the set uses and allowances.
I also believe that Article 14, dealing with high impact industrial use, is a key piece of legislation that adheres to the comprehensive plan and the constituents' ideals for their future community.
NORMAN MEYER - Running for Town Council (D/C)
I have to say the draft rewrite still needs some modifications, feeling that it's too overwhelming for the township so far.
ANDREA REYNOSA - Running for Town Council (Rural Heritage)
As a member of Tusten Concerned Citizens, I attended most of the zoning rewrite meetings and had a firsthand view of the draft process, which was done fairly, thoughtfully and thoroughly. I commend the zoning rewrite committee with special consideration for Dr. William Pammer, our planning consultant, in its tireless effort over the past year.
What I like most about the draft zoning code rewrite is the expansion of the business district, encouraging economic development and job creation within the town, and the protective zoning measures outlined in Article XIV, which provides safeguards against high-impact industrial uses and protects the health, safety and welfare of all Tusten citizens.
TONY RITTER - Running for Town Council (R/C)
The Tusten Zoning Rewrite Committee is comprised of many of the same members that worked on the Tusten Comprehensive Plan in 2007. The committee consists of chairs of the Tusten Planning and Zoning boards, current council members, supervisor Harrison, the town assessor, and the code enforcement officer along with other valuable citizens of Tusten. Our consultant was Dr. William Pammer, who has a PhD in planning.
We met throughout 2011 and all of our meetings were, and are, open to the public.
As chairman of Tusten’s Zoning Board of Appeals for the past 15 years, I am quite familiar with our current zoning code, which was last revised in 1998. In fact, at the time of the revision, I served on that board with then-Supervisor Dick Crandall.
Social, economic and demographic needs change over the years. Comprehensive Plans evolve and so do zoning codes. Our committee has striven to make the draft zoning codes less ambiguous, proactive and more equitable for the citizenry.
For example: There have been many instances before my board where the town has what is known as “non-conforming lots”. These are vacant lots that no longer meet the current schedule of district zoning regulations of acreage and road frontage, but the lots existed prior to zoning.
The 1998 code was ambiguous, and confusion arose with applicants coming before zoning and planning boards. The draft 2011 code addresses this topic in a straightforward way that is clear and concise. It is business-friendly and is also fair to those who have paid taxes on these lots for many years.
In the event that a vacant lot does not meet the acreage and/or road frontage requirements, the lot may still be buildable if it meets the NYS Health code for the required distances between a septic and well, as well as the current requirements for front, rear and side yard setbacks.
In the future, the owner of the lot will go directly to the code enforcement department without the red tape and delays of either Planning or ZBA boards.
The draft 2011 code addresses signage in a clear and detailed manner, and our committee has gone into great detail to define key terms and words in our glossary section to assist not only town officials but the general public.
Lastly, in Article 14 of the draft code, our committee has tackled the topic of high-impact industrial uses in the Town of Tusten, since it speaks directly to the attributes that the public deemed of importance in the Tusten Comprehensive Plan that was enacted into law in 2007.
Quoting from the comprehensive plan; page 19, B. 1, the foremost concern that the general public considered was:
“Growth of diverse businesses that support tourism in the historic tradition, technologically based work and jobs, renewable energy, the arts and research and development.”
The draft code is online as a .pdf file on the town’s website at www.tusten.org  , as is the Comprenhesive Plan along with as other important documents, and I urge your readers to review it.
J.P. LANG - Running for Town Council (D)
No response received from candidate
NED LANG - Running for Town Council (R)
The zoning rewrite in its current form will prove to be catastrophic to this town. I feel as though the town of Tusten has assumed it needs the same type of restricted zoning that you would find in the Hamptons, Long Island or Clifton, NJ. My question is: what are we so afraid of? If you look at the new zoning, it actually outlaws three of the five stakeholder businesses in this community.
Land application is not allowed, so what is a farmer to do with his animals' manure? Loggers will now be regulated by not just the NYSDEC, but now they will also have to get a permit to simply log your land, and if they are found to be in violation of any law, this zoning says that they may no longer perform logging operations in this town. Are we then going to have farmers apply for permits from the town to harvest their crops or harvest their animals?
To say the least, the zoning as proposed needs a lot of discussion and revision , which our supervisor expressed a willingness to do quite thankfully. I am currently preparing a thorough review of the zoning rewrite, which I will be forwarding to the board for their consideration and comments.