Town of Glenville Open Space Committee
December 5, 2007
Attending Committee members: Dan Grzybowski, Al Haugen, Stanley Lee, Larry McArthur, Jack Osterlitz, Mike Sheppeck, Don Snell, Hank Stebbins, Mark Storti, Harry Willis
Also attending: Peter G. Goutos (Glenville resident), Kevin Corcoran (Planning Department)
· Chairman Storti called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m. The minutes of the November 8, 2007 meeting were then approved unanimously by those in attendance.
· Members discussed the recent decision by the Town Board not to accept two open space property donations; one a 42-acre parcel off of Onderdonk Road and the other a ½ acre parcel abutting the Indian Kill, on the north side of Maybrook Drive. There is concern on the part of the Committee that the Open Space Plan will essentially be meaningless if the Town isn’t willing to accept donations of open space, especially considering that one of the key recommendations of the Plan is to accept open space donations if the property has value as open space.
· Kevin noted that there is another pending donation offer for a 40-acre parcel off the north end of Wagner Road. The property is presently landlocked, but a pending subdivision in the area would result in an extension of Wagner Road, which would render the parcel accessible. The property abuts the southern boundary of the Guan-Ho-Ha Club, which prompted a conversation about having Guan-Ho-Ha take ownership of the property instead of Glenville, especially if the Town Board isn’t interested in the property. Kevin noted that the landowners of the property to be donated want to ensure public use of the property, which would be lost if ownership was assumed by
Guan-Ho-Ha. Plus, the owner is not receptive to opening the property up for hunting. Kevin and other Town staff will be walking the property with the owner within the next couple of weeks and will report back to the Committee. It was recommended that staff apply the open space scoring system to this property as well as the Onderdonk Road and Maybrook Drive properties.
· Those in attendance then turned their attention to the manner in which our Open Space Plan will be presented to the Town Board and the public. Some members were of the opinion that the Committee’s role is to draft the Plan and hand it over to the Town Board for their consideration while others believe we need to generate more support from residents and landowners before seeking Town Board approval. A compromise of sorts was reached whereby Planning staff will prepare a brief, attention-grabbing summary document, which will be distributed around Town in public gathering places. This level of distribution, combined with posting the full-length Plan on our
website should allow for adequate public consumption and comment. It was pointed out that both the Glenville Environmental Conservation Commission and the Planning & Zoning Commission will be required to review the draft Open Space Plan before the Town Board holds a public hearing on the Plan. Both of these meetings will be open to the public as well, thereby affording additional public input.
· Discussion then turned to the 2nd draft of the Open Space Plan. A number of changes, additions and deletions to the draft Plan were recommended by a few of the members, namely Don, Harry and Hank.
· Part of the discussion on the draft Plan focused on the tax implications of sprawl vs. open space. Our draft Plan briefly notes that suburban-style residential development results in a tax drain, whereas the preservation of open space is tax positive. The consensus is that our Open Space Plan should go into greater detail on this topic by citing or appending studies that have been done by the Brandywine Conservancy, the American Farmland Trust and/or the Town of Clifton Park. Hank is trying to reach someone at the Brandywine Conservancy to get a copy of their study for possible inclusion in our Plan. Appending Clifton Park’s study to our Plan would
also be beneficial, especially since this is a recent, local effort.
· Mark asked if he could update the Town Board on the status of our Open Space Plan at the Board’s December 12th work session. The idea here is to let the Board know that we are nearly finished with the draft and that we will be handing the final draft off to them by the end of the month.
· Kevin will rework the draft Plan and distribute it to Committee members within the next week or two.
Submitted by Kevin Corcoran