Kudos to Lancaster Town Board Members Rick Zarbo, Georgette Pelletterie and Donna Stempniak for attempting to stem runaway sprawl and challenging questionable practices of the last administration. The previous board catered and kowtowed to developers and their whims.
The proposed six-month building moratorium was long overdue and should include both residential and commercial development.
The past board's insensitive credo of "let them build and worry not about the environment, traffic overload, resident safety and wellness" was inappropriate and not in the town's best interest. Lancaster's indiscriminate growth overshadowed residents' concerns and rationale for choosing to move to Lancaster.
Consider the proposed Gateway Enterprise at the corner of Transit Road and William Street. This project is half the size of the Boulevard Mall, yet sits on land much smaller in size. William, a two-lane road with no turning lanes, is already heavily traveled.
Unfortunately, the previous board injudiciously decided there were no significant environmental impacts - such as traffic and road safety, air and noise pollution, and removal of wetlands and green space - and granted rezoning from residential to commercial. Despite the existing Supreme Court appeal challenging the legality of this rezoning, the board will be considering site approval in the upcoming weeks.
Lancaster residents responded to the previous administration's record by voting in two new board members. Resident attendance and input has increased significantly in the past several months.
Hopefully, the new board will pursue a vision that ensures future town growth without affecting resident wellness and the environment.