Hanover Planning Board prepares for new year

HANOVER – The upcoming year was the focus of the recent Hanover Planning Board meeting.

Chairwoman Carol Depasquale opened the meeting asking the board members for ideas for goals for the upcoming year.

Updating the town’s comprehensive plan topped the list. The last comprehensive plan was completed by a consulting firm in 2000.

The plan was supposed to be updated every 10 years and was recently brought up at a town board meeting as something to be done in 2014. It was agreed that this time the update could be done in-house by the planning board or a committee.

Planning Board Member Ronald Brennan said he wanted to get the town board’s feedback before jumping into the project.

“I think if the planning board is the only entity involved and there is no input from the town board at the beginning it will be a waste of time,” Brennan said.

“I was on the economic development committee for years and we had some good ideas but when we went to the town board, they had no interest in it. I really hate wasting time,” he said.

Board Member Peter Gibson said he disagreed, saying the planning board should come up with a list of topics to include in the plan and then take that to the town board to prioritize.

Depasquale said the planning board will work on the comprehensive plan until the town board decides on a different approach like a special committee.

“I think they will form a special committee because it is hard to get something like this done when you only meet once a month,” she said.

Patricia Drmacich said she like having Healthy Communities Consultant Lisa Schmidtfrerick-Miller as a guest speaker at the November meeting and requested finding more guest speakers for 2014, especially on the topic of comprehensive plans.

Depasquale said the secretary that does the minutes for the zoning board of appeals will now do the minutes for the planning board meeting. Because of this, she suggested having a workshop from 7 to 7:30 p.m. and then beginning meeting business like public hearings after 7:30 p.m.

The planning board’s January meeting will be Jan. 20 despite the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday. Depasquale said they will need to elect a chairperson and co-chair at the meeting.

Brennan was appointed to another seven-year term and Ed Schintzius was appointed to fill the term of the late Dolores DeTolla to expire at the end of 2014. Both will begin their terms on Jan. 20.