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Liberty Mulls Moratorium

By Dan Hust
LIBERTY — October 10, 2006 — It’s not finalized yet, but the Town of Liberty is pondering the enactment of a six-month moratorium on major subdivisions.
The draft law town attorney Ken Klein presented to the town board Monday would apply the moratorium solely to the agriculture conservation (AC) and rural development (RD) zoning districts of the township. The Village of Liberty, a separate municipal entity, would be unaffected.
Klein created the draft at the request of the board, which he said will need to review and revise it before conducting a public hearing and possibly adopting it.
The draft, as currently written (and likely subject to change), would prohibit large-scale subdivisions throughout the township for six months, extendable by up to six more months. Individual requests to waive the moratorium would be subject to a review process that could outlast the moratorium itself.
The point, said Klein and Supervisor Frank DeMayo, would be to allow the town’s various boards and its comprehensive plan committee to review and update zoning without the pressure of pending projects.
“This is well done,” said DeMayo upon reviewing Klein’s effort.
But Klein urged the board to determine how restrictive they want the moratorium to be, especially regarding any waivers.
DeMayo said he’d pass it by the comprehensive plan committee and maybe have it on the town board’s agenda at the next meeting, scheduled for October 16 at 7 p.m. at the town hall on North Main Street.
In Other Business
Elsewhere during Monday’s board meeting, several residents said they’d heard a few complaints about the fact that the Munson Diner is one of three downtown Liberty buildings getting a grant to rehabilitate it.
The diner was moved to the village from Manhattan amid much hoopla in 2005 but never opened.
The gist of most locals’ complaints is that it wasn’t asked to be moved here, yet now it is up for rehabilitation courtesy of the federal government – and by extension, taxpayers.
“We looked at six buildings,” said DeMayo, adding that the government stipulated any buildings up for consideration for the Restore NY Communities Initiative grant must be empty. “One of the other buildings we’re looking at is the Swan Lake Hotel.”
That met with better public reception, and DeMayo said those who might have felt someone was left out can look forward to up to five more rounds of grants.
One audience member asked if there was a timeframe on the Munson project, but DeMayo said that wasn’t within the town’s jurisdiction.
‘State of Town’ Is Coming
Various department heads gave their reports, and board member Lynn Killian related that the Greater Liberty Chamber of Commerce has a new president, David LoCascio.
DeMayo is likely to include all of this information and substantial future initiatives when he gives his “State of the Town” address later this year.

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