Deadline extended for Middletown Comprehensive Plan

By Brian Sweeney
The deadline for written comments on the Comprehensive Plan proposed for the Town of Middletown has been extended to July 1. The draft Comprehensive Plan is continuing to take shape following a public hearing held June 5. About 20 people attended the public hearing and others submitted written comments on the plan.
The input received at that meeting will be reviewed by the town’s planning board, which will then discuss possible revisions to the document.
The Comprehensive Plan, if adopted by the town board, is intended to become the “blueprint” for the development of the municipality. The guidelines suggested by the Comprehensive Plan are seen as an outline by which the town should use as a measuring stick as it continues to update its zoning regulations.
Once the Middletown Town Board receives the document, it has 90 days to hold a public hearing to receive additional comments. The board will then decide whether to adopt the Comprehensive Plan.
Nan Stolzenburg of Community Planning and Environmental Associates has developed the proposed Comprehensive Plan in conjunction with the Middletown Planning Board and the Delaware County Planning Department.
She noted that the overriding theme in two years of work on the document has been protecting the area’s natural assets and scenic beauty. However, she said that several people who attended the June 5 meeting expressed concerns about the plan calling for too many restrictions.
Despite the public input that closely tied protecting nature as key to the local economy, Stolzenburg said there was reluctance at last week’s hearing to include protection of ridgelines and scenic views as part of the document.
“It’s important for people to remember that the plan is a rationale for future laws. If you don’t make key points in the Comprehensive Plan, you can’t back it up later when you’re making changes to your zoning ordinance,” she explained.
The draft Comprehensive Plan is available for public review at the Town Hall (42339 state Highway 28, Margaretville), at the Fairview Library on Walnut Street, Margaretville and at the Skene Memorial Library on Main Street, Fleischmanns. Copies of the plan may be downloaded at www.planningbetterplaces.com/middletown.
Comments may be submitted, by July 1, via mail to: Town of Middletown Building and Zoning Department, P.O. Box 577, Margaretville, faxed 845 586-1775 or e-mailed to: middbldgzon@catskill.net