Clifton votes July 1 on reconstruction by the planning board of the land use ordinance. I urge voters to “just say no” to the proposed changes.
Having worked on the land use ordinance from 2005 to 2010, I am concerned that these drastic changes are for the worse. The ordinance gives many powers and responsibilities. I question the wisdom of putting so much trust in the current board. Its proposed new ordinance “fix” is seriously flawed.
Mishandling of the Pisgah wind farm application cost the Town more than $83,000 so far. Making changes retroactive to 2010 dooms the town to even more legal tangles and expenses. This “fix” allows turbines on Woodchuck Hill, plays with “vested rights” and “confidential communications,” deletes low-frequency noise standards, and enacts complicated noise standards and complaint procedures. The town attorney criticized the fixes and said it is too complicated for a town board to administer.
The board blames “deficiencies” in the ordinance and “technicalities” for its previous loss in court. Not so. The judge blamed a willingness to overlook deficiencies in the Pisgah application. The town won’t fix that problem by fixing the ordinance. Just say no on July 1.
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