Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Last Night's Village Board Meeting

Read about it in the ADE here.

About 100 people attended and it was a very 'civil' meeting. The meeting was evidently a disappointment for some because there was no real discussion about Wal-Mart. It was a meeting to determine how the SEQR process on the Lake Flower Ave. village sandpit site is going.

The majority of discussion Monday was directly related to the SEQRA process, but separating the two issues still became a difficult task. Earlier in the night, many in the audience held up signs that read “CARD supports Wal-Mart,” a reference to the grassroots group Citizens for the Advancement of Retail Development. Others wore pins for and against Wal-Mart.

Many Wal-Mart supporters left the meeting when they heard there was not going to any direct discussion of the store.

Later in the meeting, the two Republican members of the board criticized Mayor Michael for not informing them about a meeting held last week with Wal-Mart respresentatives.

“But what really upset me was the fact Harrietstown was invited to this meeting and the town of North Elba was not,” McEneany said. “In my opinion, this board, the mayor or any one of its trustees has to represent the village as a whole, and that includes the three towns that make up our village.”

Michael said he wasn’t sure why the board didn’t know about it because it was well publicized in the media, including prior to the meeting, and that Harrietstown wasn’t invited. Miller had asked to attend.

UPDATE: You can read about the meeting last night at WNBZ radio here. The articles are much more informative than those in todays ADE.

Throughout the meeting, Mayor Tom Michael had stressed that rezoning the sand pit was not “project specific” and could be done without selling the property.

But several audience members said Wal-Mart’s plans have to be taken into account as part of any decision to continue. Mark Kurtz said the board needs to consider reality. “The reality is something is going to happen with the property,” he said. “The problem with only changing the zoning and allowing that to happen without acknowledging the ramifications of it, I think is not moving ahead in a way that’s appropriate for the community.”

A small sample:

Kurtz asked the board not to rezone the sand pit until the village goes through an upcoming comprehensive zoning and land use code update.

But Wal-Mart supporters, like Rick Gonyea of CARD, urged the board to plod ahead. “We need a place to shop, that’s why we’re here,” he said. “We’re behind you in rezoning this property for the business that wants to come in.”

No comments: