Plan still concerns Mayfield residents

MAYFIELD – Town residents turned out again for the third public hearing regarding the proposed Comprehensive Plan.

About 30 residents attended the Comprehensive Plan Committee’s meeting, with many of the residents focusing on what the plan could do for agriculture.

At a public hearing about the plan in February, many residents were concerned the plan’s land use map would affect zoning and change how residents could use their land. Specifically, some residents were concerned they would not be able to run their farms in areas labeled as “Recreation” on the proposed land use map.

Michael Stewart, committee member and code enforcement officer for both the village and the town, said the concerns raised during the last meeting had been used to better adjust the plan.

“We added some information highlighting the importance of farming and agriculture to the community,” Stewart said.

Newly implemented into the plan are new agricultural zones, separated into two different types, “Agricultural 1” and “Agricultural 2.”

Agricultural 1 would include parcels inside Fulton County Agricultural District No. 1, while Agricultural 2 also would include mixed and recreational uses as well.

John Close, a farmer, showed concern in February’s meeting that the plan may affect his farm.

On Tuesday, John Close said he approved of some of the changes to the plan but was still concerned.

Carol Cownie, a town resident, expressed concern regarding future development of the town.

“Why is it that the experts in local economic development only see farmland and wilderness as potential places for parking lots and housing?” Cownie asked. “Their view is that these beautiful places have no inherent worth of their own unless they are big contributors to the tax rolls.”

Stewart said nothing in the Comprehensive Plan would affect zoning directly. Stewart said any changes to zoning, if they were to be made, would take place after the Comprehensive Plan was put into place and be made by the zoning board.

According to Stewart, when the plan is complete, it will be presented to the Town Board, which could accept the plan or reject it. The Town Board could make alterations to the plan as well, he said.

According to the plan’s draft, in 2032, “Resource Hubs will provide residents and visitors with small concentrations of centralized essential services such as grocery, convenience and hardware stores, pharmacy and a bank.”

“A diversified economy will exist that will accommodate and compliment new high-tech businesses providing jobs for local residents. Year-round tourism shall remain a vital and integral component of the town’s economy. Well planned and strategically located areas of commercial development will have significantly expanded the town’s tax base,” according to the plan.