Monday, April 14, 2008

Zoning Should Be Based On Comprehensive Planning

The Heritage at Cutchogue site plan application is based on 25 year old spot zoning. The downzoning was done based on blatant lies and without even any show of comprehensive planning. In the past 25 years zoning has developed into new theories and forms. The most recent changes made to Southold Town zoning applicable to the proposed Heritage at Cutchogue are incomplete. Site plan design standards are referenced, but they were never enacted. For over a quarter of a century the Town Board has failed to correct the zoning. There is still time, but time is running out.

Hamlet Density zones are outside of Hamlet Centers and outside Hamlet Halo Zones. Recent planning provides that high density be limited to inside the hamlet halo zones. The Town Board has clear legal authority to enact a moratorium on development in, and conduct a planning review of the Hamlet Density zoning.

Analysis of environmental impacts of development is important as a basis for planning and for application of legal regulations based on planning. But, the Planning Board is bound by the current zoning.

The bottom line is that the proposed Heritage at Cutchogue is a plan for a separate community apart from, rather than apart of, the existing community. It does not fit into traditional existing patterns of development and conflicts with recent planning studies. It is the antithesis of smart growth.