Communication key issue for Bovina planners

By Matthew J. Perry
Taking advantage of a light agenda Monday evening, members of the Bovina Planning Board discussed bureaucratic procedure with a representative of the Delaware County Planning Board, and used a proposed subdivision on Tunis Lake as a means to review communications between the board and the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA).
Catskill Mountain Surveys (CMS), which represents property owners John and Maria Di bari, submitted documents to the planning board last year and were informed that zoning regulations were not met. The property, originally split into four lots, had been converted into two; in 2007 the Dibaris intended to once again create four lots, with a .72-acre parcel carved out for extra road frontage. But meanwhile, zoning regulations have changed since the last survey of the property, which required the Di Bari representatives to address the ZBA.
Members of the planning board noted that no other residents of Tunis Lake object to the plans, and all are eager to see the property on the tax rolls.
However, neither CMS nor the Dibaris were aware that a letter is required for the survey company’s representation to be officially recognized by the board. Confusion also existed around the formal sequence of appeals. Since the ZBA meets only as needed, requests for an appeal must contact the planning board first.
The problems are all matters of formality, the board agreed, but town rules require that the proper channels of communication be utilized. All agreed that the guidelines should be written out for future appeals.
Justin Shaw, of the county office, provided brochures from Greene County that outline appeals procedures for that county, but noted that Delaware County as yet does not offer an official package of its guidelines. County procedures are nearly identical, he noted, and since all towns have their particular rules, the Greene County information could still be a valuable reference. Shaw also contributed documents from the DEP and DEC, who share a field office, which could expedite development and appeals in the future.
All present agreed that it would be wise to include this information whenever building permits are issued. “And I issue a lot of building permits,” Town Clerk Cathy Hewitt remarked.
The only other business saw board approval for a subdivision at the end of Regan Road belonging to Don Farley. Dan Fancher, project surveyor for Rettew Engineering, produced maps detailing the property that will become two lots of 18 and 73 acres. Part of the property extends into Delhi; the board’s approval was made contingent upon receipt of a letter from the Delhi board confirming its approval of the site plans.