Town of
 Boards & Committees 

Planning Group




Whereas the authority and responsibility for the planning of towns under New York State Town Law (specifically Sections 263, 265, and 272-a) resides with the Town Board, and


Whereas the talent, interest, and time to devote to planning are distributed widely in the Town of Danby, and


Whereas the Town Board is in agreement that an open and inclusive planning process will best serve the interests of the town,


Now therefore be it Resolved that a committee of this Town Board to be known as the Planning Group is hereby created to address land use planning needs, and


Be it further Resolved that the committee be structured and specifically charged as follows:


Charge The Planning Group will work at the direction of and report to the Town Board. It will initially focus on proposing interim changes to Zoning and Subdivision ordinances to address their most serious misalignments with the goals of the existing comprehensive plan. It will then address the overarching questions: What does the community want, where does the community want it, and how can the community enable and facilitate that? This also includes: what does the community not want, where doesnít the community want it, and what does the community propose to do to prevent and discourage that?


Membership The core membership will consist of interested members of the Town Board, Planning Board, Board of Zoning Appeals, and Conservation Advisory Council, as appointed by the Town Board annually. Additionally, membership will be open to all others interested in participating in the work of the Planning Group. Subsequent to the first meeting, voting membership will consist of any who have attended at least one of the previous two meetings, with the balance of members being non-voting adjunct members until attendance qualifies them for voting membership.


Meetings Meetings of the Planning Group shall conform to Open Meetings Law. Ground rules shall be adopted to facilitate civil discussion and the effective use of all participantsí valuable time. A quorum for decision- making will consist of a majority of the core membership, as defined above. Decision- making Consensus is the preferred mechanism, defined as absence of serious objection to a proposal. Failing that, voting will be by roll call, with a majority of the voting membership being in favor required for passage. A quorum must be present for either form of decision- making. 


Leadership The chair for the Planning Group will be appointed by the Town Board and serve a term to the end of the calendar year in which s/he is appointed. A chair may be reappointed to additional one-year terms should the Town Board so choose. A meeting chair, to serve in the chairís absence, will be chosen by the chair from among the core membership in advance of any meeting which the chair anticipates not being able to attend.


Staff support The Town Planner will be the primary support for the Planning Group, with the assistance of a Town Board-appointed secretary. The Town Clerk will also support the committee by assisting in communication with the public. 


Moved by Ulinski, Second by Gagnon. The motion passed. In Favor: Connors, Schnabel, Ulinski, Gagnon

Joel Gagnon ()
Alyssa de Villiers ()
Planning Group
Joel Gagnon
Town Supervisor

As compiled by Steve Cortright (Code Enforcement Officer) and Jason Haremza (Town Planner)

This was the first meeting of the Planning Group, created by Town Board resolution to engage the public and act in an advisory capacity to it. Joel Gagnon, who was appointed chair of the group by the TB,  opened by describing the purpose for the group, including considering the type of development Danby wants moving forward, how to preserve open space and rural character, and how promote a future vision for the Town. One question he posed to the group was whether they should focus on enacting some interim measures as a placeholder or dive into tackling the big picture. Topics discussed at the meeting included ideas of what a placeholder might look like, current lot size and subdivision requirements, the tax burden on large landowners who are helping to preserve open space, how to reach members of the public most effectively, and building community.

From the Minutes of January 13, 2020