MOREAU — In preparation for a possible flood of development proposals, Supervisor Todd Kusnierz is making sure the town’s planning and zoning boards are ready.
The Town Board recently appointed an alternate member to the Planning Board to make sure it always has a quorum. Now, Kusnierz is taking a close look at the Zoning Board, where one of the five members is often away in the winter and another member hasn’t taken the required training.
He has held off on reappointing the absent member.
“If they can inform me the duration they anticipate being out of town — one month is different from all winter,” he said.
If the member will be gone all winter, Kusnierz said, he would “seriously consider” appointing someone else to the seat.
The other member, who does not need to be reappointed, has been told to attend a training session soon as possible.
Kusnierz is also seeking resumes from those who want to join either board as an alternate. Alternates vote only when regular members are absent.
Having a quorom can make the difference between reviewing a project in a timely manner or delaying it for a month. Kusnierz wants to be sure the town doesn’t delay developers when they consider building on Route 9 in response to the new sewer project.
“That’s why I’m looking at this very seriously,” he said. “The town of Moreau is now open and friendly to business. If I am making appointments for people who are approaching it as a part-time commitment, that does not send the right message. We would be potentially unable to provide service to those who want to do business in our town.”
He plans to fix any problem with absenteeism long before it comes to that.
While all projects will go to the Planning Board, the Zoning Board is also important. Developers end up there for all sorts of reasons: They may want to build closer to the road or to a property line than the town allows, for example, or build fewer than the required number of parking spaces. In each case, they must explain why the project cannot go forward without the proposed waiver.
Developers of commercial buildings with very few visitors expected could argue that it would be better to have more green space than unused parking spaces, for example.
The town Zoning Board famously had to decide on an appeal in 2016 that was brought by the town supervisor at the time, Gardner Congdon. He contended that a project approved by the Planning Board violated the zoning code, saying that a propane distribution center wasn’t allowed in the location that had been approved. The board ruled against him.