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Board approves codes affecting minimum acreage and house sizes

The Holland Town Board on Wednesday passed two laws changing town code, affecting minimum acreage and house sizes in certain areas.

Most controversial was the increase in minimum lot size from three to five acres in areas of the town designated rural/agricultural. Supervisor Michael Kasprzyk said the board made the change to "preserve the rural character of the town."

However, during a public hearing before the board meeting, some residents branded the change counterproductive.

Keith Schuessler said the new lot sizes would encourage sprawl and discriminated against lower-income residents.

Karl Everts also criticized the new law.

"Every town increases minimum acreage when they want to reduce sprawl," he said. "What they should be doing is increasing density but limiting construction. That way you get more open space."

Kasprzyk said the board considered all arguments before voting on the new law and reminded residents the change does not affect areas zoned residential (R1 or R2), which encompasses the hamlet and more populated neighborhoods surrounding it.

Other code changes include reducing the minimum house size from 1,120 square feet to 960 square feet, primarily to benefit retired people.

The board also adopted a right-to-farm law similar to the one passed in the neighboring towns of Wales, Colden, and Aurora. A change to the general provision section of the code book will allow the Town Board to adjust all fees and fines at the reorganizational meeting in January. Previously, the board had to rewrite a town code each time it wanted to adjust a fee schedule.

The supervisor said one key topic the board avoided in its code revisions was commercial wind farms. He said more research is needed before making a decision.

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