Ballston can build big

Residents of Ballston filled the community room of the Ballston Government Center on Tuesday night, waiting to hear the town council's vote on a new zoning ordinance.

Some held literature about Supervisor Ray Callanan's election campaign, and one woman carried in a large sign. While it was clear that many were hoping the new zoning ordinance would not go through, there were some, like resident and business owner Linda Lambert, that were hoping it would.

\The possibility of having Wal-Mart in the area will bring a supermarket, she said. "That will provide part-time jobs for teens and seniors and keep people who travel to Wilton (to shop) in the area."

When 6:30 p.m. hit, chatter in the hall died down and Callanan opened the meeting, the culmination of 16 months of work. The board voted on the comprehensive plan, the zoning ordinance and subdivision regulations. Councilwoman Mary Beth Hynes was the only council member to speak out and vote against each and all three passed.

"You get persuasion and a vote," said Hynes. "I tried to use both."

Some residents shook their heads as they watched council member after council member vote in favor of a zoning ordinance that would allow commercial building over 90,000 square feet.

In order for a building over 90,000 square feet to be built, the company must first file for Planned Unit Development. Once the PUD is complete, the planning board can approve it, after which it will go to a vote at the town board meetings.

After the meeting was adjourned, residents gathered in small groups, talking about the meeting.

"I was expecting the outcome," said Hynes. "I've been working behind the scenes to try to change the outcome, but ultimately I wasn't surprised."

J-D Wood, a resident of Ballston, said he also expected the outcome and commended Hynes for standing up for her opinion, but added, "Coming out with your opposition in the 11th hour is useless."

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