Baxter Estates changes up planning board

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The Baxter Estates Board of Trustees during a meeting. (Photo by Luke Torrance)

Baxter Estates is the smallest of the Port Washington villages, with an area less than a quarter of a square mile.

But even this small community has seen such an increase in development that the village has decided to create a separate planning board.

“An independent planning board is a fairer, more independent… they’re less likely to make decisions for political reasons,” Village Mayor Nora Haagenson said.

Currently, the board of trustee members also serve as the planning board.

This change to the village code would end this practice and instead have the mayor appoint the planning board members. These members would also have to be approved by the trustees.

The other amendment approved by the board was a change to village site plan approval. Previously, demolition in Baxter Estates had not required site plan approval.

Following the adoption of this amendment, that approval would be required before any demolition is allowed to take place.

There was public hearing for a third amendment to the village code, one to determine what constitutes a tree, and thus determine if residents would have to pay for its removal.

The trustees could not agree on a definition and decided to table the amendment until the next meeting.

With fall now in swing, the village awarded a contract to Robert Keogh Inc. It was the lowest of two bidders and will cost the village $26,800.

“We are only one of two villages in Port Washington that collect leaves,” Haagenson said.

There had also been some changes to village offices. The walls had been painted, the floors had been stripped, and air conditioning and a generator had been installed– the latter of which came in handy when the area lost power briefly during the meeting.

The improvements to the office were made possible through a grant secured by former state Senator and current Republican nominee for county executive Jack Martins.

“We’re thrilled with the way everything came out,” Haagenson said.

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