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ELDRED, NY — Following a weather-related postponement, a hearing and continuance later in February and an update of the posted zoning draft on March 11, the Highland Town Board heard another 45-minutes of testimony and concluded the hearing on March 12.
After a 10-minute conference with town attorney Michael Davidoff, the board returned and supervisor Jeff Haas announced there would be no vote on the draft law that night. The regular board meeting for that night was recessed until March 26 at 7 p.m. “for reasons of voting on the 2019 revised zoning and anything else that could come before the board,” according to a notice on the town’s website.
That notice also included another posting, revising the draft’s language. That 92-page version, dated March 18, was essentially a text cleanup.
It removed pages of crossed-out language, which appeared along with changes in the 112-page March 11 version. The cross-outs included: definition changes for animal units, campgrounds (increasing from two to 10 or more camp sites), clear cutting (from five to three acres), and expanded mobile home definitions.
Other larger sections of removed cross-outs were found in the new areas of solar and wind energy and the zoning appeals process.
Planning board chair Berry Hafkin commented for himself, finding campground regulation vague and reported that the planning board had not reviewed the newest version.
Livery-campground operators Amy Salvia, Dave Jones and Jules Robinson were the primary commenters, questioning new expansion review, interior road width (14 feet), commercial parking limits (three 18,000 lb. vehicles), and site population limits (10 on 150 sq. ft.)
In the brief regular meeting that followed, Haas reported that the roof has been installed at the new highway garage and anticipated its general completion by April 1. “It’s nice to see it actually being built. The highway department is looking forward to moving in.”
Haas also reported that four small lots comprising the old highway barn site have now been combined and the town is hoping to sell them in time for the proceeds to assist in paying for the new building. “We’ll need some money from it.”
The board approved town participation in the NY Cooperative Liquid Assets Securities System, described “as a short-term, highly liquid investment fund designed specifically for the public sector to provide the opportunity to invest funds on a cooperative basis in short-term investments that are carefully chosen to yield favorable returns, while providing maximum safety and liquidity…” and, separately, approved a letter of support for the Sullivan County Planning Department’s grant application to help fund the proposed improvements at Highland’s state river access at Cedar Rapids.