Hurley City Council wants work on full plan updates completed – Daily Freeman

HURLEY, NY — City Council wants to wrap up comprehensive updates to the plan so new land use regulations, including a set of multifamily zoning rules that will stand up to legal challenges, can be drafted.

Completion was called for in a 4 to 1 vote at a meeting on Tuesday, February 22. Council members said the city’s comprehensive review committee was appointed in January 2020 with the goal of having updates ready in nine months.

“It’s been going on for months and months,” councilor Jana Martin said. “Nothing really got done. There was a lot of talk. There was a lot of vision, but nothing really materialized.

The committee was tasked with drafting multi-family bylaws, which were drafted within six months and passed in November 2020. However, the law was struck down after a court ruled that the city council failed to properly conduct state environmental reviews.

In a resolution, the city council asked the committee to meet for two final meetings.

“The first meeting will be to develop a summary of the issues facing the city over the next 10-20 years and prioritize issues to be resolved in the short or long term,” they wrote. “The second meeting is to produce an overview of the goals and objectives of the overall plan.”

Among the concerns expressed was that the remaining funding for using the consulting firm Nelson, Pope and Voorhis to guide the committee had fallen to around $20,500. The consultants were originally hired for $9,570 to cover a first phase of comprehensive plan modifications. In March 2020, the contract was extended to $50,590 to cover a second phase which includes zoning code updates.

Board members expect the consultants to use drafts written by the committee to develop preliminary revisions that would be subject to public comment sessions.

“The compensation plan (2006) didn’t even get voted on until 2018,” supervisor Melinda McKnight said. “It’s very important that… it’s a transparent process, that everyone knows what’s going on and that it’s not cloistered. The purpose of doing this is…to speed up and also to bring in a bit more daylight.

Councilman Michael Boms was the only one to vote against holding two final committee meetings. He said the consultants should be invited to attend a meeting to discuss their three-page recommendation before the board takes action.

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