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Monday July 27th:
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  • Key Topics

    Town of Clayton Board Position on Zoning Amendment

    The Clayton Town Board recognizes any change in zoning can become a very sensitive issue. We also recognize our zoning laws are not perfect and due to constant change within the community, they may never be. This has been proven by the 36 amendments over the past 25 plus years since zoning has been in place.

    With regards to the Fairview Manor, Deluke’s Garden Center, and the property formerly known as Hayes Cottages, the Town Board felt it was in the best interest of the Town to change the zoning of those individual parcels in anticipation of them receiving a NYS Ag designation. We felt there was merit in changing these parcels’ zoning, due to the fact that when a property receives an Ag designation our local zoning laws must be seen as reasonable in the eyes of NYS Ag & Markets. Currently, within the Marine Residential (MR) district where all three properties reside, we feel our zoning laws will not be considered reasonable, and will then be subject to the zoning rules of NYS, not the Town of Clayton. Although we support each of the businesses, the Town Board strongly believes there should be certain protections in place for neighboring properties.

    The Marine Residential 2 or “MR2” district, which we proposed is not supported by Jefferson County Planning or by the Town of Clayton’s Planning Board. Additionally, neighboring property owners have hired an attorney who has interpreted the proposed amendments as “spot zoning” and communicated their intention to sue the Town if we proceed with the MR2 zoning change. Even more, Monday we received a formal protest to the zoning change by three of the neighbors. Based on these facts, our legal counsel has advised us that it is not in the Town’s best interest to proceed with Amendment #37 and to withdraw the proposed amendments. It would be irresponsible for the Town Board to proceed with these proposals at this time, as legal implications would be imminent.

    We will continue to investigate the best manner in which to address our concern with the Ag district designation.. As well, the Town Board will continue to work to with all new business ventures as well as those already in operation. We fully support all of our private businesses, including but not limited to, those that help promote our area, provide year around employment and drive our economic engine.

    Thank you for your time and interest.

    Town Board of the Town of Clayton

    Jefferson County Announces Thirty Day Period for Landowners to Submit Requests for Modifications to the Jefferson County North Agricultural District #2

    Since 1971, the creation of certified Agricultural Districts under NYS Agriculture and Markets Law has been important to the State and County level efforts to preserve, protect and encourage the development and improvement of agricultural land for the production of food and other agricultural products.

    NYS Agriculture and Markets Law requires the County Legislature to review a District every eight years after it is created. The County’s North Agricultural District #2 is located within the Towns of Brownville, Lyme, Cape Vincent, Clayton, Pamelia, Orleans, Alexandria, Theresa, Antwerp, Philadelphia, and LeRay. The North District consists of over 78,000 acres. The eight year review process starts with a thirty day review period beginning on June 1, 2015 and ending on June 30, 2015. During this review period landowners may request to add or remove land by completing a survey and submitting it to the Jefferson County Department of Planning.

    Farmers currently in the District will receive a survey to fill out and farmers who are not currently in the district should contact the Jefferson County Department of Planning (785-3144) to obtain a survey to request being added to the district. These forms may also be downloaded from the Jefferson County website, www.co.jefferson.ny.us, under IN THE SPOTLIGHT.

    Town maps showing district parcels are on file in the Jefferson County Department of Planning for public review and may be viewed on the Jefferson County website under GIS Maps, Property Search & Assessment Rolls then click on the Jefferson County Resource Maps Page.

    Possible benefits to farm operations within NYS Certified Agricultural Districts include: potential eligibility for a special agricultural assessment; support of farming through state agency policies; limitations on the exercise of eminent domain; limitations on benefit assessments in certain improvement districts; and limitations on the enactment of local regulations that unreasonably restrict or regulate a farm operation.

    At the termination of the thirty day period, the District and any proposed modifications will be referred to the Jefferson County Agriculture and Farmland Protection Board for review and recommendation. A public hearing will be scheduled later this year to discuss the current District, any proposed modifications, and the recommendation of the Jefferson County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Board.

    Surveys must be returned by June 30, 2015 to the Jefferson County Department of Planning, 175 Arsenal Street, Watertown, NY 13601, fax number (315) 785-5092. If you have any questions contact Hartley Bonisteel Schweitzer, Jefferson County Department of Planning, (315) 785-3144.

    Proposed Zoning Amendment 37

    Please click here to download the PDF to view the proposed Zoning Amendment 37. The Zoning Ordinance of the Town of Clayton, Jefferson County, New York as adopted on July 12, 1989, and as amended by Amendments 1 through 36, is hereby further amended as follows: Section 1. Aritcle II, Section B, of the Zoning Ordinance of the Town of Clayton is further amended as follows: (a) The definition of “Agricultural Use” shall be changed to read as follows: Agricultural use: The raising of fruits, vegetables and the like for sale, and the structures incidental therto, but not including the raising or keep of animals.
    Read more…
    View the Proposed Zoning Map

    Clayton Comprehensive Land Use Plan Survey Questions

    SurveyHeader2A duly appointed committee is overseeing this process and hopes to submit a draft of the revised Comprehensive Plan to the Town and Village Boards by 2016. The Committee would like to know what type of development the residents would like and where this development should occur, and so a survey was developed.

    Completing the survey the Committee developed is one of the ways to allow residents the opportunity to provide input into the process. Several questions will be area-specific while others will be more general in addressing a variety of topics usually associated with future community planning. The Comprehensive Plan should reflect the ideas and opinions of the community’s residents. EVERY Clayton resident and/or property owner is invited to complete this survey.

    Each person may submit the survey once. Your survey responses will be kept confidential. Please submit your completed survey by Friday, May 7th.

    Supervisor position on Town Manager

    April 8, 2015

    Based on the feedback that we as a board have received from the meetings on July28th, February 25th and March 25, phone calls, emails and personal conversations, I am recommending to the Board that we not take action on the “Town Manager” position at this time.

    We should see what if any tasks and duties can be redirected to Board Members, staff and Department Heads.

    This could include identifying each project that we have, the Board Member, Department Head or Staff member responsible for the oversight, daily management and administration of those projects.

    We should reevaluate the position in its entirety to include, educational qualifications, residency, skill sets and title of a potential candidate.

    There is consensus that we need to provide the resources of staff or consultants to make sure that Clayton maintains itself as the most forward thinking and efficient local governments in the region.

    Again with this said I recommend that we take no action.

    Supervisors Position on why we need a Town Manager

    Position of Town Supervisor Justin A. Taylor on March 25, 2015, relating to the Town Manager

    Position of Town Supervisor Justin A. Taylor on March 25, 2015, relating to the Town Manager. As I prepare for the public meeting on Wednesday night I thought you might be interested as the following questions have been raised as to “What has Changed in the Town Of Clayton Government” and “Why do we need this position” and what is the “Succession Plan”?  
    • First, it is important to establish that Clayton is one of the most complex towns in Jefferson County. It also has the highest assessed value in the County.
    • Also, it should be noted that the 1998 Comprehensive Plan, Goal E, on page 54, states “Also look into the benefits of a system where an Administrator is hired by the Board to manage the municipality”.

    After reflecting on the question “what has changed”, a very good question by the way, these are my initial thoughts, I will go back to 2005/2006 when Bob Cantwell was the Full Time Supervisor.

    Read the Complete Supervisor’s Position on a Town Manager

    Draft Qualifications – Appointment – Powers and duties of Town Manager Position

    Town Manager Proposal PP Final
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