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Gaines will consider whether Zoning Board will continue to do Planning Board functions

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 February 2018 at 6:58 pm

GAINES – It was about six years ago when the Gaines Town Board voted to abolish the Planning Board and have the duties be shifted to the Zoning Board of Appeals.

Carol Culhane was the newly elected town supervisor and eliminating the Planning Board was done at her first meeting on Jan. 2, 2012.

Now there is a new town supervisor in office and Joe Grube said he wants the Town Board to look at bringing back the Planning Board. Grube said some sections of the town ordinance reference the Planning Board, which currently doesn’t exist.

“Why do we only have one board when everyone else has two?” Grube said after the Town Board meeting last week.

Grube wants to hear feedback about the issue from an ad hoc committee that was formed about two years ago as part of the town’s efforts to update its comprehensive plan.

The Planning Board used to review building projects in the town while the Zoning Board of Appeals considered variances for projects that were too close to setback requirements or didn’t meet other standards.

Grube has already reversed one decision from the Culhane-led board. That board voted not to renew the contract of Doug Heath, who was the town’s longtime attorney. Culhane instead hired Andrew Meier of Medina. Grube, in his first meeting at town supervisor last month, appointed Heath as the town attorney.

The Town Board last week made a change to the Zoning Board of Appeals. Gerard Morrissey was appointed to a five-year term, replacing Ray Burke, who was a staunch Culhane supporter. Burke was instead appointed to be an alternative on the board. The Town Board also reappointed Jim Navarra to an alternate on the ZBA for another five-year term.

In other action:

• The board approved a $500 contribution to the Metro 10 race on Aug. 18 in Albion. That race pits runners from Rochester and Buffalo. They run 5 or 10 miles. A biking component may also be added to this year’s race, which is in its fourth year.

“The race goes through Gaines,” Grube said. “It brings a lot of people to town.”

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