Last week, the Town of Highland Town Hall was filled with a large number of residents who took time from their busy lives to communicate their thoughts on the proposed revised comprehensive plan.
The presented plan had numerous typographical errors, mislabeled geographical locations and a Tree Preservation Ordinance that severely restricted, if not remove the rights, of citizens. The chair of the committee, Carol Roig, assured the residents that the plan represented the needs of the town and all citizens, but that was quickly refuted by citizens.
Citizen after citizen stood expressing their displeasure with the Tree Preservation Ordinance adapted from the Town of Penfield, NJ; however, that town does not exist.
According to the 2010 census the Town of Penfield is actually in NY, and has a population of over 36,000 people—962 people per square mile. The town is completely developed, with miles and miles of sidewalks and housing developments. This town doesn’t come close to being similar to the Town of Highland. How could the committee chairwoman and members even consider utilizing that town as a role model?
After hearing the public’s displeasure with the Tree Preservation Ordinance, the supervisor quickly interjected that the inclusion of the ordinance was a mistake. The supervisor told the public in attendance the committee, “never discussed the Tree Preservation Ordinance” the ordinance was never supposed to be included in the plan. If it was a mistake, why was the ordinance included in the table of contents?
How could the plan be declared appropriate and accurate by chairwoman Roig, committee member Jim Gutekunst, and the town supervisor before the public hearing suddenly be declared inappropriate and a mistake during the public hearing? I, for one, question who the committee represents.