Brasher adopts new regulations for subdivisions

BRASHER FALLS — The town of Brasher now has something in its zoning code that it didn’t have before — regulations governing subdivisions.

Following a public hearing on Monday, Brasher Town Board members approved a resolution adopting the subdivision regulations.

The town worked with the St. Lawrence County Planning Office on the new regulations, signing a memorandum of understanding in February. A committee was formed that included members of the town board, town supervisor, town planning board, town zoning board and county Planning Office.

Planner Matilda Larson from the county Planning Office was on hand Monday to explain the additions to the zoning code. She said committee members had reviewed examples from other municipalities and decided to use the code from the town of Louisville as a template.

Ms. Larson said members spent March and April going line-by-line through the code to come up with draft regulations. Those were finalized in May and delivered to town board members in June. The regulations were also reviewed by the county planning board in July.

“The biggest feedback they provided that was the most significant to the draft regulations were the provisions of what we call natural subdivisions. They’re essentially parcels that are already delineated by a physical element,” such as a town road or county highway, she said.

An environmental review was prepared in July, and draft documents were available for review at the Brasher Municipal Building, the local library and the county Planning Office. Ms. Larson said they received no requests to review the documents.

She reviewed some of the document highlights, including lot line adjustments, minor subdivisions, major subdivisions and design standards for major subdivisions.

She said lot line adjustments was the property line between individuals and their neighbor. If individuals wanted to move the property line, that was exempt from review as long as it satisfied regulations for areas such as lot size and setback requirements. If a variance was needed, that would be addressed with the town’s zoning board of appeals.

Minor subdivisions were three to five lots, and required planning board review. The board would look at issues such as the accessibility of the parcel from the local road, whether it could be built on, the separation between the well and septic system and access by emergency vehicles.

Major subdivisions were six or more lots, and they required more review for areas such as layout, roads, trees, parks, water and sewer, “all of these typical elements you see in big subdivisions,” Ms. Larson said.

The “design standards” that needed to be addressed for major subdivisions included block and lot dimensions; highways, street, sidewalks and trails; open space; water and wastewater systems; storm water management; erosion/sedimentation; exterior lighting; tree plantings; and guarantee of improvements, she said.

Supervisor Mark Peets said much work had gone into writing the subdivision regulations, which were previously non-existent.

“All in all, coming from don’t have any to now is a huge improvement,” he said.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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