1. The Council passed Ordinance O-16-1 to combine the Planning & Zoning boards. The rationale is efficiency and cost savings. With other small towns that have moved to one “Land Use Board”, the savings may only be under $10K, However, in difficult economic times, every penny counts.
2. Speaking of every penny counting, the Council also introduced O-16-3 For the Mayor and Council to serve without compensation, which will be voted on 2/17.
3. Because of FEMA delaying the adoption of the new flood maps again, because of the appeals process in the NYC metropolitan areas, Highlands is looking to expedite an Amendment with FEMA to accept the Highlands specific maps from Shore Drive to the water. This will facilitate resident benefits with potential delays with RREM grants and rebuilding (i.e. you are currently in a V, and are supposed to be changed to an AE) and with the insurance companies. (You are currently in a V, built to an AE because it was supposed to be adopted in 2013, and there is no drop dead date for the adoption of the new zones) and your premiums are inflated due to the delay in adoption. Details will be forthcoming from Dale, our Flood Plain Administrator.
4. Tilt up came to speak to the Council about ‘Shorehedge’. Some answers include, there was no contract because it was ‘donated’. Tilt up felt they did everything they were supposed to do, including providing renderings and a physical model to Mr. Hill and it wasn’t their fault that the Highlands’ liaisons didn’t relay the information to residents or socialize the project. Many residents spoke out against structure and the how it got there. The current council wants to investigate and come to a decision on future path to either pay for the proper DEP process which includes permits or to look into ways to demolish the structure. Tilt up is unwilling to fund the demolition of Shorehedge.
5. A young man by the name of Jack Eikens came with his dad to ask for support to redo the skate park. They are applying to the Tony Hawk foundation to fund the project so it doesn’t cost the town any money. It would require to reconfigure the layout of the current skate park, i.e. putting the ramps closer to the community center, using cement ramps instead of the metal ramps which will be quieter to neighbors, require less maintenance and increase durability. To show your support for this you can click here. (Tilt up could learn something from this kid.)