By Rich Place
Four area residents spoke up against the creation of the Zoar Valley Road Extension Commercial Area, a suggested addition to the town of Concord’s recent comprehensive plan, at the town’s board meeting on Feb. 8.
All four residents — including two who live on land that would be impacted — were against the proposal, which was most recently discussed at the public information meeting on the comprehensive plan in mid-January.
The suggested idea, which would turn part of an area near the Zoar Valley Road Extension into a place for commercial development, was very much in its infancy and previously met with resistance from residents at the mid-January meeting.
“We love the land — it’s a unique spot,” said resident Judy Wright, who said she owns land on both sides of Spooner’s Creek. “It’s something I want to leave my grandchildren, my great-grandchildren. And … when people come in they can drive through this beautiful area and see in the fall how beautiful it is.”
Seth Wochensky, another community member, advocated against the idea as he had at the comprehensive plan meeting in mid-January, again calling it “sprawl.”
“I don’t believe it serves the residents of town and village best,” he said. “I think there is still a lot of room for development along the existing commercial corridor and, I guess, just from an emotional standpoint, I hate to see that land turned over.”
Lia Oprea of Sardinia, who said she is looking to move to Springville, also voiced concern at the meeting.
“I urge you in your planning not to focus on the industrialization, the commercialization, but to focus on what people come to Springville for,” she told the board.
Also speaking was Mark Hebdon, who said he has family who own land in the impacted area and added he is concerned over how land usage could change moving forward if such a commercial area was created.
Town Supervisor Clyde Drake said he would forward all concerns to the comprehensive plan’s master committee, which has been charged with working with Wendel planners to create the plan. The document is expected to be finalized by March 1 before beginning the potential adoption process by the town board.
Also at the meeting, councilman Philip Drozd, who is a representative on the Concord Library Board, informed the town board the library has been operating without a librarian since Jan. 20 after director Bridgette Heintz resigned to accept a library position on Grand Island.
Drozd said the board hosted interviews Feb. 1 and that no decision had been made when he reported to the board on Feb. 8.
In business at the town board meeting on Feb. 9, the board:
– noted they are looking for a chest freezer for the dog control officer because the current freezer is no longer operational. The freezer is used to store dog carcasses found along the road until eventual transport for burial. Those willing to make a donation are asked to call the town clerk at 592-4948;
– appointed Morgan Nellis to recreation attendant at the Concord Senior Center to replace Susan Borst;
– approved the Cold War tax exemption following a public hearing.
The next Concord Town Board meeting will be held on Thursday, March 8.