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ALTAMONT: At what cost?

Nearly 100 Altamont residents attended a board of trustees public hearing Tuesday, Oct. 2, to discuss concerns about a historical zoning portion of the comprehensive plan that some are calling too restrictive.

Mayor James Gaughan said the intent is to preserve areas of the historical district in the village. He said the comprehensive plan committee has sought feedback from the community throughout the process and will continue to refine the nearly 160-page document that lays out the future of the village.

We understand that some people feel that certain points are too restrictive. We are very proud of those who took the time to attend the meeting and relay what we feel are very well-thought-out comments, said Gaughan. "This is just a blueprint, and we expect to make changes."

While community members have found the majority of the comprehensive plan favorable, some residents said they think that requiring historic homes to only use certain materials and windows that will not compromise the character could create a financial hardship for some residents.

Trustee Christine Marshall said she understands that some of the issues come down to a matter of cost.

"Some of the materials and window are simply not readily available anymore or may not be cost-effective for homeowners," said Marshall. "It is safe to say that we will be sitting down to make changes that these homeowners are more comfortable with, although, at this point, I cannot say what the changes will be."

Trustee Dean Whalen, who is also the chairman of the comprehensive planning board committee, told residents the committee would continue to discuss changes.

"This has been a very lengthy process. There have been a lot of very valid points, and the voice of the community is what is the backbone of this document," said Whalen.

The comprehensive planning process started almost two years ago with surveys quizzing residents on their vision for the future of the village, from expanding to preservation and water issues.

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