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MALTA: Town modifies buffer zones

Last week the Malta Town Board passed a local law amending Chapter 167 of the town code, which will modify provisions related to conservation zones within the town. The changes are a result of a recommendation made by the town's planning and zoning committee.

The buffer zone of the Section II portion of the code was modified, and a new map has been substituted for the annexed map known as Exhibit B.

"The buffer zones on Round Lake Road and Old Post Road have been reconfigured," said John Zepko, assistant planner for the town before a March 5 public hearing. "In some areas we are reducing, and in some areas we are increasing."

The existing code called for a 200-foot buffer down Old Post Road. The new code defines the buffer as the "240 foot elevation contour or be 200 foot from the road. Whichever is least restrictive," said Zepko.

In creating the new code, the committee reviewed the entire town. Zepko said that the northeast portion of the town is not defined in the existing code but has been included in the new code. This area includes the Kayaderosseras Creek, for which the new code requires the land conservation zoning to extend along the 210-foot elevation contour line or 100 feet from the high-water mark.

Around Round Lake, the buffer, which had been 800 feet from the edge of the water, will extend along the 160-foot elevation contour line.

Zepko noted at the public hearing that all lands previously zoned as land conservation would return to their underlying zoning, in most cases that would be R1.

The board also added a new section to the existing code, Section III.

Identified as section 167-21, "Stream Buffers and Steep Slope Restrictions," the section is intended to "further the goal of the protection of Malta's watershed areas as well as to preserve the scenic character and water quality of Malta's streams."

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