On Tuesday, August 17, 2021, the City Council held its third UDO workshop. Part of the discussion was about the Planning Board’s advisory opinion regarding the UDO.
Commissioner Madigan, formerly a Democrat and now a member of the Working Families Party, made it clear that she felt the Planning Board’s recommendations regarding specifically allowed land uses in the Greenbelt were excessively restrictive.
Following are parts of the advisory opinion sent to the Council by the Planning Board (PB) :
- PB opposes allowing a “community center” as an approved use in the greenbelt.
- PB opposes a “campground” as an approved use in the greenbelt.
- The PB found that the definition of “country club” was particularly vague and subject to abuse. The advisory opinion stated: “It should be noted that “Clubhouse” as a distinct use is not proposed for inclusion in the UDO and the Planning Board sees no compelling reason to establish a definition for such use.”
- The PB advocated that in order to protect the greenbelt the definition for a “marina” required restrictive language in order to keep such uses compatible with its rural character.
Commissioner Madigan pushed back on all these items. She expressed concern that such policies would in effect be unnecessarily restrictive for the greenbelt.
She also told the Council that she was working with Stewarts regarding its proposals for the area around Marion Avenue and Route 50. This in spite of the fact that the proposal was opposed by many of the neighbors and rejected by the Planning Board .
At one point Commissioner Madigan and Commissioner Scirocco engaged in a congenial exchange. Counter to the assumptions often made about Democrats and Republicans in this city, it was the Republican Council member Skip Scirocco who spoke strongly about the value of having restrictive regulations in order to protect what was left of the greenbelt.