Land Use
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Land Use Goal

Develop a clear, effective planning process and zoning codes that support the community’s intentions of maintaining Hurley’s character and livability for an age- and income-diverse community, while protecting and sustaining the environment.

Implement Land Use Tools to Accomplish Our Goals

The most powerful tools at our disposal for shaping the future of our community are those that deal with land use. Our current codes have served us well but are due for an update. In places they are ambiguous, and occasionally in conflict with themselves, the county, or state.

Corn fields & woodsThe town last revised the zoning code in 1991. Since then, communities have learned the lessons of ‘smart growth’ and conservation development. Communities successful at shaping their growth have learned to partner with developers to achieve their community goals rather than react to the developer’s goals.

Proactive Partnerships With Developers Can Help Us Achieve Our Goals

If the Town can be clear about what we want, as well as what we don’t want, the development process can become proactive and creative rather than reactive and adversarial. If we can agree on development goals and underlying principles, separate from any individual proposal under consideration, the resulting predictability will enable both land owners and developers to shape plans that accommodate those goals and at less cost. Those savings, in many towns, contribute to amenities that benefit the community.

The First Step -- To Agree Upon Our Goals

Reaching agreement on our development goals is the next challenge. In the course of developing this plan several principles have emerged that now need to be explored in detail and translated into concrete strategies.

Land Use Objectives

We recommend revising zoning codes, planning regulations, site review and design guidelines that

• Clear up the ambiguities and conflicts in the current codes

• Maintain the character of the community by protecting open space and agricultural uses.

• Protect our water supply and other sensitive environmental features including scenic, agricultural, and roads features. See Environment

• Foster commercial development in those few areas already designated for that purpose.

• Encourage reuse of the vacant light industrial sites.

• Ensure a full spectrum of housing addressing the economic and design needs of our residents.

To accomplish those ends we recommend the use of ‘smart growth’ techniques like overlay districts, conservation zoning, developer incentives, and design standards. [links to resource pages that describe these ]

The process we recommend –

• That the Town sponsor a series of ‘Smart Growth’ development workshops to convert the principles in the Comprehensive Plan into concrete strategies.

• Include all stakeholders and development professionals - Town Board, the Zoning Board, CAC, Planning Board, County Planning Department, architects, builders, and planners, NYSDOT, business and land owners. Additional professionals, agencies, or interest groups may be included for particular topics. Encourage all residents to participate.

• Each workshop should focus on a specific development issue and begin with a review of the alternative approaches used successfully in other communities. No workshop should exceed three months duration.

• Each workshop should result in recommendations for zoning, site review, and design standards, or an action plan for how to reach those recommendations.