Controversial Poet Plan Pushed

The Dryden Village Planning Board approved a preliminary site plan review of "Poet's Landing" last night (January 6, 2011) in the face of village-resident unhappiness.

Who benefits from this development? The developer (Rochester-based Conifer Realty) would benefit.  Residents of the development would, too, presumably (although anybody who grew up, as we did, around "projects" in large cities might legitimately question the supposed benefits of subsidized housing), but are there really 144 units-full of people in the community in need of such housing, or will they be "imported"?  The landlord would benefit because of the assured payment from the governmental entity providing the subsidies.  Politicians would benefit because there would be additional residents beholden to government largesse.  Taxpayers... ?

What if we just made it easier (zoning, taxes) for property owners to rent out apartments in their existing properties?  Could we solve the need without a "housing project"?  Won't the new zoning regs under consideration make it harder to rent out apartments in existing houses when we supposedly need more low-cost units? 

Poet's Landing decision reached

Follow-up to an earlier post:  Last night, the Dryden Village Planning Board approved the Poet's Landing development, with conditions.  Two members voted "yes, reluctantly." (h/t Kathy)

Here's tomorrow's Journal news today:

Dryden planning board OKs controversial new development

BY AARON MUNZER •CORRESPONDENT • JANUARY 6, 2011, 11:05 PM

DRYDEN - The village planning board unanimously approved a preliminary site plan review of the controversial Poet's Landing housing development at its regular meeting Thursday evening. 

The proposed neighborhood, which will have subsidized low-income housing, will comprise 10 apartment buildings and a larger seniors complex with a total of 144 units, at 111 Freeville Road, on 11 acres of a 45-acre parcel that includes wetlands across from Dryden High School.

Although the board's vote was unanimous, member Les Cleland said he voted yes reluctantly, based on the fact that the development will add traffic near the high school and will have an effect on "the safety of children who will have to cross the street, and children walking from the village." ...

About two dozen residents were at the meeting, and most were unhappy with the project, for either safety concerns based on its proximity to the high school, or because of the possibility it could make flooding worse...

To mitigate safety concerns, the project will include a cross walk, signs and flashing yellow lights at the intersection between the high school and the development, and a large holding pond to keep runoff from contributing to flooding, said Gene German, chairman of the board.

In addition, the developers, Rochester-based Conifer Realty, will have other conditions to fulfill, including an additional, independent stormwater study to determine if the project will increase the risk that nearby Egypt Creek could flood during storms. The project has been before the planning board for at least a year, German said, and said the conditions "had gone far enough" for his satisfaction.

Mayor Randy Sterling, who was present at the meeting, said he supported the board's decision and that the new development will provide the area with working-class housing.

"We have no new developments right now," he said. "Dryden needs this."...

Get Ready, Get Set...

Richard Hanna in his new officeRichard Hanna (NY-24) settles into his new desk following his swearing-in in Washington, D.C., January 5, 2011.  Hanna met constituents and well-wishers in his office after the ceremony.  His new digs are at:

319 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515

Phone: (202) 225-3665
Fax: (202)225-1891

E-mail link

http://hanna.house.gov

Photo Credit: Jim Crawford of Dryden

 

Uh-bridged

If you love unabridged books in general, and Mark Twain in particular (there actually is a local connection here), this is for you:

UPDATE: Over there on the left is a link to a very nice, relatively inexpensive, hardback, unabridged, uncensored edition of both Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer together for your consideration (while you still have the option of considering it). I must admit that I do like the convenience of reading a book on my iPod, but, error or not, Amazon giveth and Amazon taketh away. Physical books are so, well, physical and thus much more difficult to chuck down the memory hole. If they want my books, they're going to have to come pry them from my cold, dead hands.

Lap 13 for Seward


State Senator James L. Seward was sworn in for his 13th term on January 1.  

On his website, he said,

"The language in Albany is changing.  There will be new players, including a new governor, and a new senate majority which I am proud to be part of. "

Later in the week, he commented on Governor Cuomo's State of the State Address:

"The message of fiscal responsibility rang through and is one I have been promoting for some time.  The state has been spending too much, and needs to cut back through the use of a hard spending cap, Medicaid reform, and state agency consolidations".  

Seward represents the lobster-shaped 51st senatorial district.  We in Dryden are in the clutches of the left claw, I guess.

Backpedal-mania

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From the Weekly Standard:

Speaking to reporters at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast this morning, former Vermont governor and 2004 Democratic presidential candidate Dr. Howard Dean shared his thoughts on the Tea Party.

“I think it’s the last gasp of the 55-year-old generation,” said Dean...."The Tea Party is almost entirely over 55 and white..."

You might be inclined to think so, too, based solely on this locally-produced video. On the national level? Not so much:

In July, USA Today reported that 23 percent of the Tea Party are non-white Anglos, while non-white Anglos make up roughly 25 percent of the total American population. Additionally, only 47 percent of the Tea Party is 55 years old and older, while 23 percent are under 35 years old.

And then the backpedaling:

Dean was sure to clarify, however, that he does not think the majority of Tea Party supporters are racist or bigoted.

Right.

And from Investor's Business Daily:

On the eve of his demotion by voters from House Majority Leader to House Minority Whip, Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., offered this insight into the psychology of the Tea Party movement:

"There are a whole lot of people in the Tea Party that I see in these polls who don’t want any compromise. My presumption is they have unhappy families. All of you have been in families: single-parent, two-parents, whatever. Multiple parent and a stepfather. The fact is life is about trying to reach accommodation with one another so we can move forward..."

And then the obligatory "update":

Steny Hoyer’s office sent the following statement to Capital Hill (the blog that posted the original piece):

"Mr. Hoyer clearly meant that everyone has to compromise sometimes as part of a family and that compromise is necessary to successfully govern. He obviously was not referring to the personal family life of a large group of people."

Mighty hard to move forward when you keep on backpedaling.

Coffee? Tea?

Maybe someone should send this postcard

to the organizer of The Coffee and Caring Club of Ithaca (the group formerly known as the Coffee Party, Ithaca Area) who lives in...Moravia.  Just sayin'...

Mr. Hanna Goes to Washington

Richard Hanna, Photo by JOHN HAEGERThere was a send-off on Sunday for Richard Hanna at the Hotel Utica as he prepared to travel to Washington D.C. for his swearing-in on Wednesday.  As reported in the Oneida Daily Dispatch, he said:

“My life has become what I wanted it to be. It has become that because I live in a country that let that happen. It didn’t teach me entitlement, it taught me responsibility. Because of that I have had a wonderful life in a wonderful country.

“I am going to Washington for you for a number of purposes,” he continued. “But above all of them is to help us become more of what we were. There are people in this country today who believe that we are in decline. I don’t believe that. I think that we are in a period of pause and reflection and that we will get it right again. We are simply victims of our own success. We know that sacrifice is still a word that matters. We know that the future will always matter to us because our children will live in it.”

Poor Richard's Almanack

Richard Hanna hasn't even been sworn in yet and he (as well as the other 434 members of the House) is already under scrutiny:

GOOOH stands for 'Get Out of Our House' and is pronounced like the word 'go'. It is a NON-PARTISAN plan to place 435 citizen representatives on the ballot in 2012, competing for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.... 

GOOOH is NOT a political party. It is a system that will allow you and your neighbors to choose, among yourselves, a candidate who will truly represent your district....

....Our preference is to compete in the primaries against the incumbent. It is possible we may have to run as an Independent in some races, or even form a party in a few states, but the goal is to run in the primaries. It is important to clearly state that we are not a third party. We have no platform and are a bottom-up organization. We are a process for selecting and funding candidates....

I know, I know—it's a goofy acronym, easily open to ridicule. They sound rather Ron-Paulian; you can decide what you think about that.  But the point is that there's been a lot of talk in various media about how it's unlikely that tea-party-type folks will be unable to maintain their momentum now that the election is over. But this one example, at least, doesn't seem to support that.  There are already people waiting in the wings preparing to primary Hanna and other Republicans if they a) are perceived to be RINOs, and b) decide to run for re-election in 2012. What happened during the lame-duck session just strengthened their resolve:

RINO Call (from Day by Day)

Zone defense

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No, this isn't Ace of Spades, so we're not talking football and scantily-clad cheerleaders.  We're talking this kind of zone.  Next week is the Dryden Town Board Abstract and Agenda meeting (the second Wednesday of the month) on January 12th, at which zoning will again be the topic during the second part of the meeting.  As described in a post in early December, the work session starts at 7PM, and usually finishes up around 7:45PM. That is then followed by an 1-1/2  hour discussion related to the new, revised, zoning the town hopes to adopt.  Right now, section 600, pertaining to density allowances, is under consideration (the same topic carried over from last month's meeting. The text can be found here, pp. 27-28). 

The Board suggests that citizens phone or email town environmental planner Dan Kwasnowski (phone: 844-8888 between 8:30AM and 4:30PM or leave a message after hours, fax: 844-8008, email: dank@dryden.ny.us) to express their concerns, questions, or suggestions. Dan will then put together a written summary of citizens' concerns which becomes the topics for discussion at the meeting. Attendance at the meeting doesn't hurt, either. 

Please inform your neighbors and friends of these meetings so that all interested parties can stay current with proposed projects (h/t Kathy).

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