Some of you are adverse to any type of regulation at all. That is well known and has been since the Town’s birth well over 200 years ago. Your existing concept of private property rights was the prevailing law in an agricultural-based economy that pretty much disappeared from the Town of Amity at the time that the Court House was built on the hill in the early 1970s. The Town of Amity’s economic base is no longer primarily invested in agriculture. Parts of it still remain; however, what does remain is being consumed by larger agricultural conglomerates or corporate farming if you will.
There are very few small dairy cattle operations or chicken or pig farms in the Town any more. The Town’s economy is now steeped in a service economy or providing services largely involved in retail, food and hospitality. It is quickly becoming a bedroom community for Buffalo and Rochester full of second residences with part-time residents.
The current proposal for a site plan review law did not incorporate what you think of as conventional zoning and the rumors circulated with this assumption were flat out incorrect. Site plan review simply curtails the impact of land uses on adjacent properties. What site plan review does is regulate design aspects to comply with what are already common requirements for development in some state statutes or nuisance violations. It is NOT zoning.
More importantly, the site plan review law was for new development only and did not apply to residential development or your existing homes. The standards are intended to protect common public health and safety issues that could arise from new development like on-site septic and sewer or the ability to not overload existing water resources, or visual pollution form Las Vegas style signs, noise or odors that could potentially cause peace disturbances and soil erosion that could wash away your neighbor’s driveway. The law was simple common sense solutions as any industrial or large commercial impact could and would cost the existing residents more in the form of taxes to mitigate those impacts down the road. Under NYS Town Law, there is even the ability to waive any requirements as the board sees as making common sense.
The proposed law was forward thinking planning for potential high impact development resulting from future gas drilling and its onslaught of workers and their families coming from out of town. In fact, the law was actually minimal in regulation and very flexible. This is not seasonal and temporary hunters coming in for deer season. These are workers and their families coming from who knows where and staying for a long time.
The Town is hardly prepared for the gas fracking bust and boom. You might like it at first. But I am certain that you are not going to like it when it starts to overwhelm services that the town provides. What you have to ask yourself is this: Should you want to prepare (be proactive) at least something in case or do you want to react after the fact when it is too late?