Saratoga County

Wilton hires first town planner

The town has hired Clifton Park’s planning director as Wilton’s very first town planner. “We need so

The town has hired Clifton Park’s planning director as Wilton’s very first town planner.

“We need someone who can focus clearly on the planning aspect,” said town Supervisor Arthur Johnson.

Kate Maynard has been planning director for Clifton Park since 2006. But she, her husband, and two young children live in Wilton.

Taking the planning job in Wilton is like coming home, Maynard said.

“It’s a great move,” she said. She said this is an important time in the development of Wilton, a growing Northway corridor town of about 13,000 residents.

She said being planning director in Clifton Park, Saratoga County’s largest municipality with nearly 38,000 residents, was a great experience.

“It’s a very busy town,” Maynard said about Clifton Park.

She “broke the news” about her new job to Clifton Park town officials on Tuesday, she said.

Clifton Park officials were initially surprised, she said. When she explained why she was leaving, she said they understood and “had nice things to say about my two years in Clifton Park.”

She said she will stay on as planner in Clifton Park for another month so there is a smooth transition there.

Maynard said the daily commute from Wilton to Clifton Park was a factor in taking the new position.

She will make the same salary, $61,700 per year, in Wilton as she did in Clifton Park, according to Supervisor Johnson.

Johnson said Keith Manz has been the town’s director of planning and engineering for well over a decade.

But Manz is a professional engineer and more and more of his time is being consumed by engineering issues, such as the new MS-4 drainage regulations and the town’s expanding road system.

Maynard is a graduate of the University of Arizona with a master’s degree in regional urban planning from the State University of New York in Albany.

The Town Board believes the town needs a full-time planner to help guide prospective developers through a variety of new town laws.

In addition to the town’s relatively new zoning regulations, there are state-mandated stormwater drainage regulations as well as new town-level guidelines for open space and parks and recreation, according to town officials.

The town placed advertisements for the new planning position in early January and interviewed a variety of candidates.

“Most towns of our size have planners,” Johnson said. He said Malta, Clifton Park and Halfmoon all have a town planner position.

At present the planning responsibilities are divided among staff of the planning and zoning and building departments, and Manz’s office, according to deputy town Supervisor Raymond O’Conor.

“There really wasn’t a person whose complete focus was on the planning process,” O’Conor said.

O’Conor said a professional planner will be able to do this as well as focus on the way the town will develop in the future.

Cathy Hall, the town’s longtime planning and zoning coordinator, spends much of her time accepting and processing land use applications that go before the town Planning Board and/or the town Zoning Board of Appeals.

Maynard will work closely with the town Planning Board and Chairman Michael Dobis.

Johnson said Maynard will help the town implement its own new comprehensive plan and a new county-level green infrastructure and open space plan.

“An experienced planner can take this over,” Johnson said.

Johnson said Maynard will report to the Town Board but also attend town Planning Board meetings each month.

“She will work directly with applicants,” Johnson said. She will make sure the land use application meets town zoning regulations and other town codes.

“She will coordinate with other departments, appear at Planning Board meetings and advise the Planning Board,” Johnson said about Maynard’s duties.

Categories: Schenectady County

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