The Village of Geneseo seems perplexed by the recent action of the County Planning Board in disapproving its proposed new Master Plan. At its board meeting Monday night, Mayor Richard Hatheway reported that he had sent a letter to County Planning Director David Woods asking for clarification.
In the letter the mayor said he was troubled that, “Informed reports suggest the discussion preceding the vote lacked verifiable and factual content, and that the decision was perhaps based on unsubstantiated allegations.”
Trustee Bill Lofquist who attended the county meeting had reported in his column that “Discussion centered on claims that the plan lacked the support of the community, that it had been written by and for the college, that it was anti-development, that it would limit sales tax revenues to the County, and that it would limit shopping options to county residents. No evidence was produced to support any of these claims.”
The board seemed split on how to proceed. Trustee Bob Wilcox suggested that the village might make changes in the plan and resubmit it to the County Planning Board. Trustees Sandra Brennan and Lofquist, however, said that was not necessary and the village should proceed to a public hearing.
“This is the people’s plan, they paid for it, they should have a chance to comment on it,” Lofquist said. “Everybody else has.” The board decided to wait for a response from the county before proceeding, although Lofquist suggested that a public hearing in mid-June would be appropriate. After the hearing, the board could override the county recommendation and pass the plan with a so-called “super-majority” vote of 4-1.
The action of the County Planning Board has been heavily criticized in comments posted on the clarioncall blogs. “This is a testament to an inept government committee operating at its worst,” one observer wrote. As of press time, David Woods had not responded to a request for comment.