Clarence officials want a master plan that is not only a building guide but is also law.
Supervisor Daniel A. Herberger on Tuesday said this will be the first times in decades that the master plan will be handled this way, as the town tries to put more teeth into its master plan.
"We have some good data from consultants on dollars, where we are going with schools, with what kinds of homes we have to be building to be self-sustaining, and we find ourselves in that category," Herberger said. "So we may as well adopt (the changes into law) because we are where we want to be."
The Town Board is expected to vote later this month on a 15-year master plan that is designed to beef up Clarence's commercial base, while also maintaining the town's existing residential character.
If the town does go the route of making the master plan law, rather than just a guide, it will require a series of public hearings over changes that will be needed in zoning laws.
Those changes would, among other things, increase the minimum lot size and frontage requirements in some areas currently zoned agricultural and would affect commercial properties in Clarence Hollow and Clarence Center. The town is trying to maintain the character of those communities. The laws could also affect the depth of lots in the town's commercial corridor along Transit Road.
The proposal to make the master plan law, not just use it as a guide, is supported by Tax Receiver Kathleen Hallock, who is running against Herberger in the Republican primary. Trying to control development is a key element of Hallock's campaign.
"This is the town's fourth master plan (since the 1950s)," Hallock said. "They accept them and use them as guides, but do not make them part of the law. I hope they do actually adopt it and make it part of the law. . . . It will be easier to have these things take effect."