01/10 Minutes

Town of Groveland Farmland Protection Plan

Public Meeting Minutes

SWOT, Vision & Goals

 

DATE: January 21, 2010

PLACE: Town of Groveland Town Hall

TIME: 7:00 – 9:00PM

 

ATTENDEES: 

 

Name

Affiliation

Craig Phelps

Town Board, AC Committee Chair

Burt Lyon

Town Board

Brad A. Macauley

Council/Committee

Roger Haich

Planning Board

Tim Sullivan

Zoning Board

Adam Meyer

Committee

Paul Dantz

Resident

Bill Koshara

Resident

Barb Koshara

Resident

Michael Alexander

CHA, Planner

Walt Kalina

CHA, Planner

 

 

PURPOSE: CHA conducted a Public Informational Meeting to review resource maps of existing conditions within the Town, conduct a SWOT analysis with attendees, brainstorm a vision statement, and identify goals that will be incorporated into the Plan. 

 

MINUTES:

    • Walt Kalina began the meeting and stated its purpose as outlined on the agenda and had everyone introduce themselves.  He then asked Mike Alexander to give an update on the research conducted, data collection and mapping analysis. 
    • Mike informed attendees representing local residents that there have been several meetings conducted to date that were open to the public and that there has been involvement with various stakeholders including Livingston County, Cornell Cooperative Extension, the Genesee Valley Conservancy, etc.
    • Surveys were also mailed to every farmer, and in some cases were mailed a second time if there was no response to the first mailing.  At present there is about a 50% response rate. Surveys have been reviewed and summarized for the Plan
    • Mike reviewed the maps with attendees and the existing conditions of the community.  Next, he explained that a series of analysis maps have been created to help identify areas in the Town that contain the highest and moderately high quality farmlands based on several criteria including prime farmland soils, soils of statewide importance, topography, size of parcels, etc. The committee members and the public asked a few basic questions about the analysis, but had no significant issues or concerns. A local resident noted that soils in the creek valley along I-390 do flood occasionally and need to be drained to be productive. CHA is continuing to refine the analysis and will use the information as a basis to create a future land use map.
    • There was some discussion about where development may occur, should occur in the future and not likely to occur as a result of topography and other constraints. Limited development should be direct to the areas of the Town near existing sewer and water in the northwest and south-central sections along NYS Route 63. There was general consensus that development should not be promoted in general due to the potentially adverse impacts on farmland, but accommodated in areas that do not have high quality farmlands.
    • Walt and Mike conducted a brief SWOT analysis to identify local issues and opportunities relative to farming in the community which resulted in the following:
  • Strengths: 
      • Town is zoned for agriculture
      • Good access to I-390
      • It’s Groveland – it’s our home
      • Town has the critical mass for farming
      • Not much traffic on local roads to interfere with farming
      • Good access to mills
      • Ability to get produce and livestock to markets quickly
      • Good balance between dairy and cropland
      • Steep slopes along the Conesus Lake limit development
      • Town Board and local officials are committed to agricultural preservation
  • Weaknesses:
      • Town roads are not in good shape, hampers movement of farm equipment
      • Valley lands are productive but only when drained
      • Problems still exist with containing Canaseraga Creek floodwaters (property owners are hindered by what can be used for rip rap)
  • Opportunities: 
      • Existing rail line (now only a freight line – could provide for increased movement of farm goods)
      • Windmills – residential and larger windfarms could be a source of revenue (does not appear to be much opposition in the Town and local zoning now addresses these uses)
      • Niche markets – some exist, not much organic or specialty farms exist as yet – potential may be there, also potential for agri-tourism
  • Threats: 
      • One of the most important issues, although it is not really much of an issue at present in Livingston County, is getting along with non-farm neighbors – potential for nuisance suits
      • State/national economies are in bad shape and create impact on local taxes and property owners (financing mandates)
      • Agriculture is presently exempt from minimum wage laws.  However, NYS is considering changing this rule, which could put the local farming industry at a competitive disadvantage against foreign competitors.
      • Development in general that destroys agriculture
    • Next, Walt and Mike worked with the community to brainstorm a vision statement.  The following phrases were offered by the meeting participants in preparing the Vision statement and goals for the plan.
      • Keep the Town agricultural – maintain the rural character, look and feel of the community
      • Promote very little change
      • It is “Home” – people live here for a reason because they like the way it is
      • Not going to be developed
    • The number one goal in the Plan should be to protect farmland and number two should be to maintain the area’s rural character.
  • Next meeting: The next committee meeting is tentatively scheduled for February 16, 2010 from 7-9pm. Walt would like to have a draft of the plan ready for the next meeting to review with committee members.

 

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