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Hammond drops planning board members

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HAMMOND – The Town Council voted Tuesday to reduce the number of planning board members from nine to seven.

The resolution will be incorporated into the town’s newly revised site plan and subdivision law, which is expected to be voted on in April.

Town Supervisor Ronald W. Bertram said Thursday that with a larger board makeup, it is sometimes harder to reach consensus.

“The other issue, which necessarily hasn’t been a problem of late, is that you are required to have a quorum of five, with a nine-member board,” he said. “That can be a problem if some members are out of town or unable to show up with a volunteer board. With a seven-member board you can have a quorum with four.”

Planning Board members are paid a $30 stipend per monthly meeting. However, Mr. Bertram said, the board has already been budgeted this year, and the adopted resolution would not effect this fiscal term. The town also voted to reappoint Christopher J. McRoberts for another five-year term on the board.

“The Planning Board needs at least two members who reside in the village,” Planning Board Chairman Ronald R. Papke said. “We already have one member from the village. Mr. McRoberts makes the second.”

The other application for reappointment, belonging to Crayton L. Buck, was tabled.

“It wasn’t that he won’t still be considered for reappointment,” said Mr. Papke. “When the board decides it would take the nomination off the table, Mr. Buck would be considered for reappointment for the next opening. But that would be the board’s decision.”

The Town Council will wait to vote on the finished site plan and subdivision law until after the comprehensive plan is adopted by the village, town and St. Lawrence County Planning Board.

“The law is basically done,” said Mr. Papke. “We want to wait and see whether final recommendations of the law conflict with comprehensive plan. We’ll probably deal with that in another month or two.”

The site plan and subdivision law outlines restrictions and guidelines for building projects larger than one- to two-family homes. Originally devised in the 1980s, the law has become outdated, according to Mr. Bertram.

In 2010, the Planning Board met with county and state officials to revise the law.

The comprehensive plan is expected to be voted on and passed in February, according to Mr. Bertram. The village and town will have a joint meeting to view the final draft of the community plan at 6 p.m. Jan. 23 at the Village Hall, 24 Main St.

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