Saturday, January 2, 2016

List of Documents in July 2015 BOS Minutes Does Not Support Passage of Water Extraction Definition Amendment

During the July 2015 Board of Supervisors meeting, Supervisor Solt submitted a list of documents that purported to document the timeline and procedure used in the adoption of the water extraction/bottling definition amendment passed on May 1, 2014.  This is a copy and paste of the list from the meeting minutes after OCR:

1. 3.28.14 email from D. Gannon to email list concerning the 3.27.15 CJER Hearing results.
2. 3.31.14 email from S. Solt to the Eldred BOS and Planners, with all the proposed changes as attachments.
3. 4.17.14 Eldred Planning minutes with recommendation for approval of the proposed
4. 4.28.14 Planning Secretary letter to BOS in regard to Eldred planners recommendation for approval.
5. 4.28.14 email from S. Solt to BOS in regard to MCPC Technical Review #65-14.
6. 4.29.14 email from MCPC acting director C. Meinhart to CJER planners and Monroe County Commissioners.
7. 4.30.14 email from Robert Boileau to CJER reps and BOS regarding the proposed

In response to a Right to Know Request for all the items except #3, which is available on the township website, these items were received with the exception of item #7 - an email that was reported to be not available.  Mr. Boileau was contacted by the RTK Officer, and while he also did not have the email, he supplied the materials he believes were the subject of his 4.30.14 email, which were forwarded to me.  This is a cover letter and a list of shared uses he recommended not be permitted in Eldred Township.

All of the items supplied in reponse to the Right to Know Request are linked to at the bottom of this post (with personal email addressed redacted), with the exception of the SALDO and Ordinance that were to be adopted on March 27, which were attachments to item #2.

Observations of each item in the list
#1. This email from Darcy Gannon fails to mention that at the March 27 meeting, a water extraction amendment was discussed that apparently nobody in Eldred Township knew about except the supervisors.  Even if it had been mentioned, there is only one Eldred planner on the distribution list, and no CJERP members except Sharon Solt.
#2. This transmission to planners for review does not mention that in one of the attachments, there is a newly added change to the definition of water extraction that planners had no knowledge of, and that this change will add a use to the Commercial district.  In reviewing the minutes of the April Planning Commission meeting, Eldred planners obviously assumed this was just a collection of minor changes to bring the townships all in line with the same definitions.  Assuming the tracking is correct, by the end of April, only Darcy Gannon and one other recipient even opened this email.
#3. The April Planning Commission minutes reflect no mention at all of the new water extraction amendment, and the one person who definitely knew of its existence, Darcy Gannon, apparently did not bring it to the commission's attention as something that had been added at the last minute.
#4. This letter from Darcy Gannon reflects that Eldred planners have concerns about the shared uses in the current draft for approval, but they conditionally approved the changes for adoption May 1.  Again, there is no mention of the water extraction amendment - just that changes have been recommended to be approved.
#5. The attachments to this email show that the Monroe County Planning Commission completed a review of the changes proposed for March 27, as well as the amendments including the water extraction definition, and found them to be consistent with the CJER regional planning practices and the CJER comprehensive plan - neither of which is true with respect to the water extraction amendment.
#6. No observations.
#7. The replacement documents supplied, in conjunction with items #3 and #4, reflect that Eldred Township planners were just being exposed in the spring of 2014 to the list of shared uses that the Board of Supervisors were scheduled to adopt on March 27, and then May 1.  Of note is that Mr. Boileau actually recommended that water extraction not be permitted in Eldred Township.  This letter was sent to only the Eldred Township CJER representatives, Sharon and William Solt.

File containing Items #1 through #6 (click)
File containing Item #7 (click)

Summary Observations
The list of documents provided by Ms. Solt during the July 2015 BOS meeting does not show that proper procedures were followed in review and passage of the water extraction amendment.

  1. There is no recommendation from the Eldred Planning Commission that the amendment is needed to address an issue.  In fact, the only recommendation from one member is to not permit water extraction in Eldred Township at all.
  2. There is no authorization from the Board to draft the amendment.
  3. There is no submission by the Board to the regional planning body CJER, with the required description and notification to the other CJER townships.
  4. There is nothing that shows the amendment was reviewed by the regional planning body CJER.
  5. There is nothing that documents that the CJER Planning Consultant, who drafted both the 2004 and 2014 ordinances, advised any planning body or the Board that the amendment changed land use in the Commerical district to a more intense use in only Eldred Township.
  6. There is nothing that shows the Eldred Planning Commission was made aware of the substance of the amendment or discussed it, and no recommendation from the Planning Commission on the amendment.
  7. The Monroe County Planning Commission was not made aware of the change of use, and as a result incorrectly concluded during its technical review that the amendment was consistent with the regional Comprehensive Plan and sound land use planning principles.
  8. There is nothing that shows the amendment was properly advertised.  Furthermore, documentation elsewhere shows that it was not.

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