Proposed development moratorium sparks conflict in Village of Monroe

Stretched village resources prompted the development moratorium proposal, Village officials say. But developers in the process of planning board applications oppose it.

| 13 Jun 2022 | 05:20

Village of Monroe

The second of two special meetings on a proposed Village of Monroe land development moratorium was held on June 7 in Village Hall, following up on the May 17 meeting, where the moratorium was previously discussed . The moratorium would last six to nine months, allowing time for the 2017 Village Comprehensive Plan to be updated, said Mayor Neil Dwyer.

Comments were heated in both meetings. A small group of Monroe residents and developer representatives attended both, asking questions, commenting, resisting or supporting the moratorium proposal. No approval of a subdivision, site plans, special permits or variance applications would be granted during the moratorium.

At this meeting, Village Attorney Alyse Terhune postponed the moratorium vote until the next meeting.

A statement from the Village Board of Trustees asserted that they have the responsibility to review the Comprehensive Plan from 2017 and make any changes necessary, as the Comprehensive Plan is a “living fluid document.”

“Resources are stretched at this time,” said Mayor Neil Dwyer. “Police, the fire department, ambulance, traffic and water are stretched to their limits. This proposed moratorium is for six months but can be extended an additional three months.”

Matt Liponis, an attorney from Whiteman, Osterman and Hanna, representing the 208 Business Center LLC, submitted a letter opposing the moratorium, noting that the company he represents has been attempting to get approval for the Center for almost four years and is in final stages of approval, with the environmental statement completed.

His project includes a 3.7 acre vacant lot, as well as old buildings, possibly of historic value, and buildings that may be slated for demolition, he said. Other local developers and property owners also voiced concerns about the moratorium.

Later, Dwyer said of the 208 Business Center project, “I don’t see that project being affected by the moratorium. That’s just my opinion. But there’s no moratorium now, and we don’t know what will be included in it.”

Dwyer noted problems with traffic control in the area of the business center planned. The outcome of studies and solutions proposed related to that issue would affect the project, not the moratorium, he said, again according to his personal opinion.

A meeting on June 21 will again address the possibility of a moratorium and the Comprehensive Plan review.