OSWEGO, NY – At its meeting Monday night, the Common Council approved the consolidation of the Historical Review Committee’s duties with the Planning Board.
In 2011, the mayor was authorized to appoint members to the Historical Review Committee. They were tasked with implementing Downtown Design Guidelines.
However, the council has received complaints from constituents who have been required to present their plans to both the Historical Review Committee and also to the Planning Board.
Resolution No. 39 of 2011 was amended to repeal the second resolve paragraph, which authorized the appointment of members to the Historical Review Committee, resulting in the dissolution of the Historical Review Committee.
It was also amended to provide that the Downtown Design Guidelines shall be implemented by the Planning Board.
At the public session prior to the start of the meeting, Charlie Young, chair of the Historic Review Committee, spoke out against the proposed consolidation.
“I’m here to suggest that it’s a bad move trying to disband this particular committee,” he said. “Nobody, I repeat nobody, from City Hall contacted me about this move.”
The committee was said to be “anti-business,” he said, adding that is not true.
In fact, he said, the committee rejected just one business application.
“Just one; that one was very obviously in violation of the guidelines,” he explained.
However, Councilor Ron Kaplewicz spoke in favor of the plan, saying “it streamlines the process.”
Council President Eric VanBuren agreed.
He took issue with the process and how the proposal came about.
Councilor Mike Todd pointed out that he brought up the proposal in February.
“I was told that I’d have a plan by April. I didn’t. In May, I asked again. Nothing. In June I asked about it again. Nothing. In August I asked about it again and then dropped it,” he said. “So, there was plenty of time for a plan.”