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GUILDERLAND: Board hears zoning input

"If people are not comfortable walking there (Route 20), there will be more traffic jams," Whalen warned.

Ten properties were singled out in the report for rezoning to preserve the residential character of the neighborhood: 28-30 Schoolhouse Road, 1422 Western Ave., 1420 Western Ave., 105 Arcadia Ave., 8 McKown Road, 1450 Western Ave., 1444 Western Ave., 1440 Western Ave., 10 McKown Road and 1424 Western Ave.

Five homes south of Western Avenue are houses used as residences but zoned as businesses.

Runion said he had a problem with the wording used in drafting zoning laws.

"It becomes difficult to draft a rule without the courts reversing it," he said. "A customary home occupation must be redefined as a residence. Is the intent of customary home occupation to have a business in a domicile?"

Runion said people are more often working from home today and should be accommodated.

Board member Dave Bosworth asked if the town wanted to preserve residential neighborhoods in the area or have a mixed-use character.

"If there were mixed uses, what to include in the master plan? Preserve it residential or zone it mixed use?" Bosworth asked.

Committee member Donald Reeb said he was concerned about the loss of green space and the growth and expansion of parking lots in McKownville.

"To see front yards paved, with three to five parked vehicles, does not add to the residential character, but we also don't have enough parking spaces. This is not conducive to the 1,000 neighbors in McKownville," Reeb said.

Bosworth said that, when personal property rights get involved, zoning issues can become a "sticky wicket."

Runion said it was not a good thing to rezone a conforming zone because it creates problems with variances.

"To downsize it and make it nonconforming is a bad thing," he said. "105 Arcadia comes to mind. It is a small lot which could be developed commercially.""

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