Zoning Commission Update 12/3/19

Update from the Hector Zoning Commission

Hello from the Town of Hector's Zoning Commission! You may have heard that we're currently working on a draft zoning law. We're in the final six months, but there is still a lot to do. Here are answers to some questions we’ve been hearing.

Why hasn't the draft law been distributed?

We have not released the full draft yet as it changes every month and to have old versions distributed on the internet and on paper would cause confusion. Each month at our meeting we project the current draft (6 p.m., second Monday of the month, Hector Town Hall), and those who attend are invited to follow along.

Because we are a commission appointed by the Hector Town Board in an advisory capacity only, we are not held to the same laws as those with voting power. There is no requirement to publicly record or distribute the rough draft, as again, it would create confusion and spread misinformation since it changes regularly. When the initial draft proposal is complete, we will release it and then have public meetings. Think of it this way: if the Town Board were creating a draft law, the board would not distribute the in-progress drafts of that law until it were ready to go to a meeting.

What has the process been?

We were appointed by the Town Board in August 2017, and we began meeting in January 2018. We are volunteers and we are all residents of the town of Hector. There has been a ton to learn and consider on the topic of zoning, and we meet once a month.

In August and September of 2018 we held four public meetings in each corner of the town to notify our neighbors of the project and to collect initial feedback. This feedback, as well as information gathered for the town’s Comprehensive Plan in 2011, has informed our draft. We have also had help in this process from the Southern Tier Central, which is a publicly funded regional planning board that helps municipalities in our area create responsible zoning. They have been an important resource in the process.

What happens now?

The complete draft law will be a hundred pages or more, and we are still several months away from its initial completion. It's hard to predict exactly when the zoning commission will be ready to distribute the draft - it will probably be sometime in the spring, but hopefully even earlier than that. When we do this, we will give folks time to read the document and we will schedule four more public meetings that will be held for the express purpose of collecting more feedback and answering questions. After those meetings, the commission will make amendments and hand over the proposed draft law to the Town Board.  The Town Board will then vote on the proposed draft law to determine whether zoning will be implemented. 

How can I give feedback or get questions answered?

We invite members of the public to attend our meetings (6 p.m., second Monday of the month, Hector Town Hall), or email any feedback and questions to [email protected]. We also encourage people to attend the public meetings that will be held in 2020.