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Draft pares zoning process

The business of getting more then 300 pages on new town zoning and land use ordinances has been left in the hands of town board members.

Earlier this month the town's Building and Planning Department finalized its draft of the new ordinances after more than a year's worth of planning and committee meetings.

The town has yet to schedule a public informational meeting to disclose the document but will do so soon, according to town officials.

Upon release of the document, copies will made available in the planning and economic department offices, at the William K. Sanford Town Library and the town's Web site.

This is the legal document that pulls together segments of the comprehensive plan, said Philip Pearson, planning and economic development department director. "The information won't be foreign (to people)."

The town has proposed extensive zoning revisions in the document that will cut the current number of zones from 22 to 12. New zones will include several conservation and preservation zones strewn throughout the town, said Pearson.

The proposed revisions are part of an overall mission to completely streamline the town's planning process.

The regulations outline a plan to include town planners and departments earlier in the building application process. The hope is to develop departmental checklists the developers and builders must meet before they are to meet with the town planning board.

Through pre-submission, workshop planners and developers will be sure they are on the same page before projects come before the public at large. With items on the proposed checklists met, each department's requirements will also be met, and developers will spend less time developing projects while at planning board meetings, and instead use the time to finalize projects to the board's and ultimately the town's liking.

The new system will also cut out town board involvement in re-zoning issues related to cluster developments in the town. Currently projects need to be approved by town planners to pass before town board members approval for re-zoning and project approval. In some cases, the project will go before town planners again before town board approval.

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