All this petty political drama ignores two larger issues:
1. In criticizing Mr. Bello for leaving Irondequoit at a time when one of its developments is struggling, what is Mr. Reilich suggesting Mr. Bello actually do to help the development? I wasn't aware that elected Town Supervisors have a whole lot of direct [legal] power to assist developers.
2. Why is an INDUSTRIAL development agency assisting a retail development in the first place? I'm a big fan of I-Square and the efforts to create a "town center" for Irondequoit, but the whole system of tax breaks and government choosing development winners and losers is corrupt. Rather than doling out baubles and trinkets to those who come to grovel at the high priest of COMIDA, government should be lowering obstacles to business development across the board.
The Rose Fellowship folks are spot on, although it's always a little sad that these sorts of "hard truths" need to come from outsiders. There have been locals saying many of these same things for years and have been roundly ignored by various "leaders."
As far as waterfront planning, it's time for the media to start asking more pointed questions about the interminable Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan (LWRP) process (http://www.cityofrochester.gov/LWRP/). The City received a grant in 2007 (9 YEARS AGO) to update the original 1990 plan. The consultant was not hired until 2012 and the anticipated completion date was December 2013, which came and went. Finally, a draft plan was submitted to the state for approval in December 2015. If the city were serious about waterfront planning and development, it would be far more aggressive with these timelines.
I'm not sure why this caught the town "by surprise." I'm also not sure why the town needs another committee to "work through" the options.
The town's 2010 Comprehensive Plan, which was adopted just 5 years ago in February 2011, specifically addresses the Shadow Lake and Shadow Pines properties. Presumably, the 2010 Comprehensive Plan was prepared with meaningful public input and still reflects the sentiment of the town.
From page 141 of the plan, in the section on 'Future Land Use':
"The areas on the Future Land Use Map shown in green are
designated as Recreation/Sanctuary uses. These areas include:
-Shadow Pines and Shadow Lake Golf Courses"
As is common with municipal planning efforts, the town dropped the ball. It produced a pretty planning document in 2010-2011, but then failed to follow up with regulatory changes required to actually implement the plan and protect the Shadow Lake and Shadow Pines properties. The zoning law in effect for these properties remained single family homes on half acre lots, contradicting the vision expressed in the Comprehensive Plan. If town officials were actually serious about stormwater and sewer concerns, as Mr. LaFountain claims now, and preserving these properties as "recreation/sanctuary" uses, it would have changed the zoning designation years ago to reflect the plan.
My understanding is that New York State allows COUNTIES to set hours for alcohol sales, not MUNICIPALITIES.
Otherwise I agree, it was a misuse of the zoning law and there are other, better, ways to address the problem.
A: I believe the courts ruled arbitrarily on this issue, considering the state regulates a lot of things: barbershops, beauty salons, daycare centers, vehicle repair shops, etc. Does that mean that all these uses are now in danger of being ruled "off limits" for municipal regulation?
B: New York is supposedly a "home rule" state with a great deal of power and responsibility granted to local governments. Just a few years ago, courts upheld the power of local governments to ban hydraulic fracturing. So towns and cities can ban fracking but can't regulate bars and convenience stores?
C: That being said, if drugs and loitering are the problems, why can't the city go after drugs and loitering, rather than clumsily trying to use land use regulations (and punishing decent businesses in the process) to address behavior?
This article makes the same error of clarity that the Monroe County Board of Elections website does: August 14 is the deadline to change your registration ADDRESS (or register to vote for the first time), NOT your party affiliation. This seems to be a distinction that is common knowledge to the bureaucrats and partisans at the Board of Elections, and, apparently, weekly newspaper editors. I would assume most people, like myself, wouldn't know that distinction.
I was frustrated and disappointed to learn on August 14, when I presented myself in person at the Board of Elections, that party affiliations are only updated once a year and the deadline had long passed to be able to do so for the September primaries.
I can only see this arcane rule as a way for the two-party duopoly to maintain their grip on the electoral process. There's no technical or procedural reason that a new voter registering for the first time on August 14 can be processed by September 10 but someone CHANGING their registration cannot.
Taking a larger view, I see the closed primary system, run by the two main political parties, as a failure of the democratic ideals we claim to hold dear. Most municipalities, with the exception of a few relatively balanced inner suburbs and villages, are one party states: overwhelmingly one party or the other. Therefore the party primaries are the only elections that matter. Therefore, unless you chose to become a member of the dominant party, you are effectively disenfranchised.
FYI, I was informed by the folks at the Board of Elections that October 9 is the deadline to change your party affiliation to be able to vote in the New York State presidential primaries in the spring.
Guess Winn Development (Sibley's owner) didn't donate as much as Buckingham (B&L's owner) did to Cuomo's election campaign.
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