Adopted in April 2010, the Ancram Comprehensive Plan guides the town’s decisions about future development and is the basis for the Town’s zoning, subdivision, and other land use laws.
Transforming the Comprehensive Plan from concept into reality required many actions. One major action was revising the town’s zoning ordinance to coincide with the vision, goals, and strategies of the Comp Plan. Enacted in 1972, the current zoning ordinance had served adequately for many years, but no longer contained sufficient guidance about priorities, standards, and procedures, nor did it consistently reflect changes in New York State law.
Accordingly, on February 19, 2010, the Town Board appointed a Zoning Revisions Committee (ZRC) to bring the Town’s zoning and subdivision laws into alignment with the Comprehensive Plan and to identify all town laws pertaining to land use and consolidate them in a single land use laws document. The committee consisted of twelve members with varied backgrounds, expertise, and interests. Nan Stolzenburg, AICP CEP, of Community Planning and Environmental Associates, served as consultant to the committee. John Lyons of Grant & Lyons, LLP, was legal counsel.
The ZRC normally met every Monday at 7:00 p.m. in the Ancram Town Hall to review and revise the 1972 Zoning Ordinance section by section and, as appropriate, submitted several sections together as one package of amendments for Town Board action. Town Board review included consideration of comments from the Ancram Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals, and Conservation Advisory Council; from the Columbia County Planning Board; and from a public hearing for community members.
The Town Board adopted five packages of zoning amendments. The first package was adopted on July 21, 2011; the second package on October 20, 2011; the third on September 20 and October 18, 2012; the fourth on February 21, 2013; and the fifth package on June 19, 2014.
After all sections had been revised and adopted as individual amendments to the 1972 ordinance, the complete compendium of revisions was reconfigured as a single, coherent Local Law #2 of 2014, which was adopted on November 20, 2014.
Since 2014, the ZRC convenes only as necessary to consider adjustments to the Zoning Law. ZRC members are appointed annually by the Town Board. Ms. Stolzenburg and Mr. Lyons continue to serve as consultant and legal counsel respectively. All meetings are open and the committee often includes participants from the community in discussion. Believing that agreement among committee members will aid agreement among community members, the ZRC usually reaches decisions by seeking consensus.
Asterisk [*] denotes current members.
Hugh Clark, Chair*
Barry Chase, Vice Chair*