ROUSES POINT — The Village of Rouses Point aims to eliminate unnecessary bureaucracy for those looking to start development projects here.
That was the goal, said Mayor Tom Batha, when the Village Board voted to combine the Zoning and Planning boards at the beginning of July.
“Before, they would have to go to the Zoning Board to get signed off on it. Then they’d come to Planning Board, who would have their own requirements,” Batha said.
“If somebody came to us in May or June, they might not be cleared until September.”
Combining the boards was an idea Batha brought with him from his campaign, and it was one that, he said, the Planning, Zoning and Village boards agreed on as the best option moving forward.
Each separate board was previously made up of five volunteer members, all of whom were required to have yearly training.
The new board will have a minimum of five and maximum of seven members, with the option to have three alternates.
The new member count was lessened, but Batha added that no one was forced out.
“I had the two boards meet together, and they arranged it among themselves as to what the optimal balance would be,” Batha said.
“There’s going to be members from both existing boards on the new board.”
The combined group was developed by abolishing both existing bodies and creating a new Zoning Board of Appeals, which will also handle the Planning Board’s prior responsibilities.
The change is effective Thursday, Aug. 1.
“It’s a win-win.” Batha said of the combined board.
“It will be a little simpler and easier to find members to fill the board, due to fewer members.
"It will reduce the training cost for the village.
"And anyone that needs zoning and planning, they can do it all at once.”
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