Sparks fly over Gateway planning, Ken Book issues statement

The Geneseo Town Board was the scene of a testy exchange Thursday night over the Gateway District Master Plan when the board was discussing goals for the year. Board member Mike Tenalio announced that Ken Book had agreed to head up a new committee to study economic development in the Gateway, however, Tenalio indicated that not much could be done until after the Lowe’s matter is resolved.

The board up until now has excluded the Gateway from the ongoing effort to update the Town’s Master Plan. Earlier in the evening, Board member Dan Dimpfl reported that the work on the rest of the Master Plan for the town is nearing completion and will soon be brought to the board.

When Dimpfl suggested that a goal for the town should be to complete and integrate all three parts of the Master Plan (Village, Town and Gateway) and begin implementing new zoning pursuant to the new plans, Tenalio jumped on the brakes. “Do you think that can happen in 2008?” he demanded.

When Dimpfl responded that it was important to begin work on that even if it was not finished this year, he was interrupted by Tenalio saying, “I don’t need a lecture, just answer the question.”

This is not the first time sparks have flown between Tenalio and Dimpfl on this issue. Dimpfl has repeatedly pushed for a timetable for starting the Gateway study and Tenalio has often angrily refused to consider it.

Read Bill Lofquist’s column this week to see why the future of the Lowe’s proposal remains murky.

Update: Following a request by the Clarion News Blog, Ken Book issued the following statement Friday morning about his goals for the Gateway Committee:

“”The Gateway Overlay District was created on August 1, 1996 after extensive work by many dedicated individuals on the Town Planning Board and Town Board. In the ensuing 11 ½ years no development has taken place in the District, although various parties have shown interest. The committee I will chair will be developing recommendations to ensure that future business development in the Town of Geneseo takes place in the Gateway District, thereby fulfilling its original purpose.”

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