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TOWN CONSIDERS FACILITIES LAW TO AVOID SPRAWL

Clarence officials are looking to adopt an Adequate Public Facilities Law that will ensure the town has adequate roads and other facilities to support any planned future development in the town.

On Wednesday, the Town Board and others received a broad overview of what the town will have to do to begin crafting such a local law. The Town Board has hired outside consultant Freilich, Letner & Carlisle of Kansas City, Mo., to assist the town. E. Tyson Smith and Michael Lauer began conducting interviews with Clarence town and school officials earlier this week.

The law would not be an amendment to the town's master plan, nor would it specifically require rezoning, the imposition of impact fees or a building moratorium, Smith said Wednesday. It would provide a way to pace development in Erie County's fastest-growing town, discourage sprawl and ensure that any development does not overwhelm the level of services provided, he said.

In April, the Town Board approved a six-month moratorium on new subdivisions, with the option of two six-month extensions, in part to give town officials time to come up with a public facilities law. Clarence Supervisor Kathleen E. Hallock has said the proposal is not intended as a control mechanism.

"What (the consultants) are going to look at is in terms of what the town should do in the future, as far development goes, to make sure we have adequate public facilities such as roads and schools," Hallock said Tuesday.

"If we end up passing a local law, it would, of course, be subject to a public hearing," she added.

In addition to looking at the capacity of Clarence Central Schools to accommodate additional pupils, the consultants will consider capacity at the local wastewater treatment plant and parks. Lauer even suggested town officials begin developing a parks master plan.

Meanwhile, Hallock announced Wednesday the resignation of Town Highway Superintendent Ronald Wittnauer effective Aug. 20. No reason was given for the two-term highway superintendent's planned departure. His current term of office expires Dec. 31, 2005.

Hallock said an interim appointment will be made for the remainder of this year, but whoever holds the post next year will have to run on the November ballot to serve the remainder of Wittnauer's term.

e-mail: hmcneil@buffnews.com

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