I am writing to correct the misinformation contained in former Colonie Republican Town Board member Kevin Bronner’s letter to the editor published in the May 8 edition of your newspaper.
Mr. Bronner claims that the Siena College poll used by the Town of Colonie as part of the update to the town’s Comprehensive Plan is flawed and should not be used since the survey failed to include residents of the villages of Menands and Colonie.
Mr. Bronner couldn’t be more wrong. The villages of Menands and Colonie are independent municipalities with their own zoning and land use laws. Under New York state law, both the villages of Menands and Colonie are authorized to adopt their own Comprehensive Plans and in fact, starting in the fall of 2017, the Village of Menands began work on its first ever Village Comprehensive Plan. The Town of Colonie has no authority to impose its Comprehensive Plan and zoning laws upon the Villages.
More importantly, the town is expressly prohibited by New York state law from using studies, materials or reports — such as surveys — originating within the boundaries of incorporated villages to prepare its plan. Specifically, New York State Town Law Section 272-a(2)(a) provides in pertinent part that a “town comprehensive plan” includes “the materials … studies and reports that identify the goals … for the growth and development of the town located outside the limits of any incorporated village or city.” The theory behind the law is that only those with a stake in the outcome should have input to the plan.
Consequently, contrary to Mr. Bronner’s assertion, the Town of Colonie is following the law by only including town residents outside the boundaries of incorporated villages in the survey to update the Town’s Comprehensive Plan.
Mr. Bronner further claims that the town failed to comply with SEQR and unspecified environmental legal requirements since the town allegedly failed to make the material available to interested parties. All SEQR and environmental materials are — and have been — readily available for review in accordance with New York state law.
Michael C. Magguilli
Town of Colonie