In an effort to reduce the duplication of services, the Skaneateles Town Board passed Introductory Local Law 2009-B during its meeting July 16.
The board first heard comments from residents during a public hearing for both local law 2009-B, which would transfer the major special permit process to the planning board, and 2009-C, which would transfer the same process to the zoning board of appeals.
"It's seems that the process could be much simpler," Supervisor Phil Tierney said.
Many residents spoke up for and against the transfer of power from the town board to the planning board. Resident and member of the planning board Joe Southern spoke in favor of approving 2009-B and said the best example of why the transfer should be done and the law passed is "the most recent go around" with mining issues.
According to Southern, when the planning board was done with site plans and reviews, the board concluded it would issue a conditional application. After that, the town board went through the same process and came to the same conclusion.
"All that did was insert an extra step into the process," Southern said.
Saying he thought passing the law was the wisest thing for the board to do, Southern asked that the councilors approve 2009-B and not to support 2009-C.
Letter submitted by the planning board and the zoning board of appeals also expressed support for 2009-B and not 2009-C.
Zoning board attorney Terri Roney also spoke up in favor of 2009-B. According to Roney, the town board doesn't have the extensive training to review the applications that are submitted to the planning board.
"You would become the planning board in addition to the town board," she said, adding that to give power to the planning board would also be a more modern approach. "You need people who are trained on this on a regular basis."