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Town Board thanks Cloud, considers zoning changes

PINE PLAINS — Between recognizing outgoing town Supervisor Darrah Cloud’s contributions to the town and discussing zoning map changes and the formation of the sewer district map, the Pine Plains Town Board was busy at its last meeting of 2021 on Thursday, Dec. 16.

Beginning at 7 p.m., the board convened in-person at Town Hall and also live-streamed its meeting on YouTube.

Final farewell to Cloud

For her final supervisor’s statement, Cloud delivered a recap of her two terms, covering the last four years. She said she considered it “incredible” for her, the town and the Town Board.

Highlighting some of the most memorable projects and initiatives — including the updated Comprehensive Plan, the creation of the Broadband Committee, the town’s designations as a Clean Energy Community and a Climate Smart Community and the launch of its feasibility study for a central sewer system project — Cloud said, “None of these accomplishments could have been done without the support of an extraordinary group of people employed by the town.”

She continued to thank those she’s worked with during her tenure.

“It’s been my privilege to get to work with them,” she said. “I loved every minute of that and I will miss our camaraderie immensely.”

Cloud noted she applied for a Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) grant every year since first being elected into office. She explained it takes about six years to secure such a grant, “because every step they want you to get closer to having accomplished some of your projects yourself.

“You have to, in a way, be shovel-ready for them to give you $10 million,” Cloud added.

After submitting this year’s DRI grant application, Cloud said she heard back from the state and was asked to make a video to accompany the application, which she completed with help from Patrick Trettenero.

She showed the video that night. At its conclusion, Councilwoman Sarah Jones recognized Cloud’s accomplishments and thanked her for her leadership.

Zoning maps

When the Town Board later discussed changes to the zoning maps, the board turned the meeting over to Attorney to the Town Warren Replansky, who was accompanied by Taylor Young, a planner from BFJ Planning. BFJ is consulting on the town’s behalf.

Replansky explained they had a two-phase set of amendments for the town’s zoning code, the first of which entailed text changes meant to clarify the zoning code that were completed this past March.

Young said the second phase entailed remapping some of the parcels in the main hamlet of Pine Plains. He explained the text and map changes were conceived by the town’s Zoning Review Committee (ZRC) with BFJ’s assistance; the main goal of the map changes was to make existing homes align better with the town’s zoning code.

Young said BFJ Planning submitted the proposed zoning changes to the Town Board with Part One of the Environmental Assessment Form (EAF), which is a part of the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) process.

Replansky said he took all the work conducted by the planners and created a local law to make the changes to the town’s zoning law. The board scheduled a special meeting for the local law on Thursday, Feb. 17, at 6 p.m. in the Community Room above the Pine Plains Free Library.

Police ride-alongs

Cloud brought up the ride-along program that the Pine Plains Police Department is interested in offering to local children to show them what it’s like to be a police officer.

She said the town worked with its insurance agent to create a form for the program and protect it against any liability. The board approved the program with a unanimous vote.

Sewer district permissive referendum

Addressing the permissive referendum for the town’s sewer district map formation, Replansky reminded board members of the resolution they previously passed for the sewer district map formation, subject to a permissive referendum.

Since notice of the permissive referendum is supposed to be published in the local newspaper within 10 days, he advised the board to re-approve the resolution as a matter of caution.

The referendum will allow the public a chance to discuss the resolution, which has to do with “appropriating a specific amount to pay the cost of preparing a map, plan and report for the creation of a proposed wastewater district within the town of Pine Plains centered around the hamlet business zoning district,” and ask questions for a period of 30 days from when it was originally noticed on the town’s website, www.pineplains-ny.gov, on Monday, Dec. 20.

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