PDDG challenges legality of public hearing

Please Don’t Destroy Geneseo’s Bill Lofquist has written to Town Supervisor Wes Kennison and Town Planning Board Chair Dwight Folts, and the board’s respective attorneys, challenging the legality of the public hearing scheduled for October 29 on the Newman PDD application.

In his letter, Lofquist specifically disputes that the hearing should cover anything about the project’s site plan, special use permit or subdivision, since there are “no valid applications on file with the town” on these matters.

Lofquist also points out that the notice for the review of the DEIS under SEQR is defective in that it does not allow for a proper amount of time to submit written comments. He states that under SEQR regulations, the written comment period should be kept open until Nov. 8, not Oct. 31 as stated in the notice.

The letter which was mailed Tuesday has not yet received a response. The subject of the appropriateness of holding the hearing on the site plan, however, was also raised by members of the Planning Board even before the letter, at their meeting Monday night.

Board member Tom Curtin, who has generally supported the Newman application, said he did not understand how the public was supposed to comment on a site plan that hadn’t been approved by the board. Chairman Folts said he would seek further clarification from the board’s attorneys who were not present at the meeting.

According to Folts, however, the five-hour public hearing will be divided up into different segments according to the different parts of the hearing. The first segment on the DEIS is intended to last an hour and a half, followed by 1/2 hour segments each on site plan, subdivision and special use permits. The final hour is to be devoted to the PDD zoning itself.

Folts said it was his understanding that people would be able to sign up to speak for a maximum of five minutes in each of the five segments, but that they should confine their remarks to one subject matter per segment. Questions were also raised as to whether speakers would have to identify themselves and whether non-residents of Geneseo would be allowed to speak. Folts also promised to consult the attorneys on these questions.

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