9/09 Minutes

Town of Groveland Farmland Protection Plan

Draft Meeting Minutes

 

DATE: September 22, 2009

PLACE: Town of Groveland Town Hall

TIME: 7:00 – 9:00PM

 

ATTENDEES: 

 

Name

Affiliation

Michael Alexander

CHA, Planner

Brad A. Macauley

Council/Committee

Tim Sullivan

Zoning Board

Ted McCauley

Committee Member

Roger Haich

Planning Board

Eric Grace

Genesee Valley Conservation

Adam Meyer

Advisory Committee

Craig Phelps

Town Board, AC Committee Chair

Burt Lyon

Town Board

David Thorp

Cornell Cooperative Extension

PURPOSE: CHA conducted an Advisory Committee meeting to review preliminary existing conditions, identify survey strategies, and discuss issues of concern. 

 

MINUTES:

    • Mike was representing CHA and explained that Walt was unable to attend the meeting due to an unexpected illness. 
    • Mike reviewed the agenda and explained to the committee that Walt was in contact with John Brennan from Ag and Markets.  Mr. Brennan indicated that he was very happy with the planning process and subject content to be covered by CHA for the Farmland Protection Plan.  CHA has placed him on the email list for agendas and meeting minutes.  He also expressed an interest in attending any relevant meetings. 
    • Walt also was in contact with Livingston County, Angola Ellis – Planning Director.  The County’s role in this process will be to develop all of the GIS maps and analysis.  Currently, the County is short staffed by one GIS planner.  Thus, CHA acquired some of the GIS data in order to prepare some initial analysis maps for tonight’s meeting review. 
    • Mike handed out map and analysis packets and used them for discussion.  He explained the content of each map and how the data and information within the maps and associated attribute tables will be used to set the foundation for the existing condition section of the report.
    • Mike worked with the committee to review each map for accuracy.  Any inaccurate information was noted as well as any information from a discussion of observations.  Specifically, Mike identified with the committee parcels that were labeled as residential, but may actually be primarily used for agricultural purposes.  Many of these parcels contain a single family home, and the property owners rent the remaining land to other farmers.  The locations of these parcels were noted on the map.
    • Two questions were asked during this process: How many parcels are in the Town and how many of those parcels were dedicated to agricultural uses?  Also, is it possible to show overlay districts that contain protection or conservation areas?  Eric from Genesee Valley Conservation said he would send us some overlay GIS files that we could use.
    • Two other comments were mentioned: the small development of tract homes in the northwest section of town has occurred on land that is considered less productive for agricultural purposes.  Secondly, land near, but not necessarily adjacent to the lake had experienced a trend in single family housing development on large lots.  However, the majority of the land within these lots is still being farmed.
    • It was also noted that almost all of the land labeled as “vacant agriculture” is being actively farmed.  The land just does not contain a structure or building so it is considered “vacant”. 
    • Mike distributed copies of the survey and gave the committee some time to review it and comment on it.  The comments were collected and the Committee asked him to incorporate the changes.  Several suggestions were made to reconfigure and rephrase the questions.
    • The Committee also indicated that they would like to start the interview process by mailing out a letter and the survey questionnaire.  The committee wants us to mail the letter to out of town owners if necessary.  They are concerned that we are going into harvest season and that the committee members will be busy. 
    • An interview session meeting with the committee members reaching out to unanswered survey recipients.  These sessions are scheduled for October 27, 2009 at the Town Hall from 7 to 9pm. 
    • Farmers will then be interviewed in the field by the committee members during November as a last attempt effort to solicit additional information.
    • If possible, the Town’s website will post the survey that the farmers could download fill out and return to the Town office.
    • It was suggested that each committee member sign the cover letter to be mailed with the survey.  The cover letter should clearly state the intent of the plan and that the information will not be used for other purposes.  Also note that the plan is NON regulatory.
    • CHA will continue to work with the County to gather and process existing conditions data. 
    • It was noted by a committee member after the meeting that the average value of a property is $105k.  (Total town-wide assessment divided by number of parcels.)  Any development that increases this average assessment will add additional value to the Town. 
    • Mike said he will try to have the survey, maps, and cover letter prepared within 2-3 weeks. 
    • The Town will have to post notices about the interview meeting and the survey request.
    • Town will have to provide phone numbers of all unanswered survey responses to the committee during the Town Hall interviews.  This will allow the members to call and interview people over the phone that night in case there is a low turnout.
    • A public informational meeting and SWOT analysis is tentatively scheduled for November 17, 2009, 7-9 pm.
    • The Committee Visioning meeting is tentatively scheduled for December 15, 2009, from 7-9pm.
  • Next meeting: Interview Sessions with Current Farmers, Tuesday October 27, 7-9pm at the Town Hall.

 

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