Planning Board allows proposals

JOHNSTOWN – Plans to update generations-old subdivision regulations in the town of Johnstown and a city food store’s expansion proposal will proceed through local planning boards after the Fulton County Planning Board on Tuesday decided the projects do not pose a negative regional impact.

The town of Johnstown’s Planning Board has been working to update subdivision regulations that hadn’t been changed since 1965. Several of the proposed changes address roads and access – no longer urging residents to construct dead-end roads, for example – reflecting updated strategies in municipal planning and newer state regulations.

“They encouraged dead-end roads in 1965, apparently,” Fulton County Senior Planner Sean Geraghty told the county Planning Board.

Board Chairman John Blackmon noted municipal leaders now “encourage connectivity.”

The proposed regulations also would require driveways of 500 feet or more to meet building standards so emergency vehicles can access them. And new roads would be graded by the town highway supervisor, not the code enforcement officer.

The town Planning Board will meet next at 7 p.m. Feb. 12 at Town Hall.

The city Planning Board will meet Feb. 12 at 4 p.m., when a public hearing will be held on a plan by the Aldi grocery store to expand the south side of its building by 13 feet in order to expand its offering of fresh produce and accommodate new refrigeration systems.

Store officials also plan to modernize the design, giving it more of a warehouse look, with open ceilings and concrete floors. A new entrance would be built as part of the addition.

After discussion, the county Planning Board did not vote on approving either project. If a plan had been turned down by the board, the local Planning Board would have needed approval by a supermajority of its members for a project to proceed.

Also Tuesday, the county Planning Board elected its leadership for 2013. Blackmon, who had been vice chairman, was unanimously appointed to lead the group, replacing Paul Ruzicka, who left the board. Steve Cirillo was elected vice chairman.