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New Scotland draws up moratorium

The Town of New Scotland has drafted a building moratorium in light of a major commercial development deal proposed for the former Bender melon farm off of routes 85 and 85A.

The moratorium won't be voted on until late May, according to town officials, but a public hearing has been scheduled for Wednesday, May 7, at 7 p.m., at the Voorheesville High School.

Sphere Development Group out of Syracuse is looking to develop the 179-acre parcel of land, but the company has not yet closed on the property.

Currently a group of investors own the land, which is being listed through Platform Realty Group at $4 million. The town assessed the land, which has no municipal water or sewer and contains a barn structure, at $734,700.

At a Town Board meeting on Wednesday, April 9, representatives from Sphere met with the public for the second time in a month in order to field questions and follow the town's progress on a possible moratorium.

The developers have asked the town to not enact any measures preventing commercial construction plans, but according to Supervisor Thomas Dolin, representatives said they wouldn't legally interfere with the moratorium process.

They said they would voluntarily not file [official submissions] until the moratorium process was completed, said Dolin. "They asked for an opportunity to informally present some of their ideas to the town before making an official submission to us."

When asked when Sphere will show the plans, which they have given very little detail on as of yet, Dolin responded, "They acted like they wanted to do it quickly."

Dolin said the public overwhelmingly commented on the need for a moratorium and wanted to know where the Town Board stood. "The board is not unanimous at this point," Dolin said.

As it is drafted now, the moratorium calls for a six-month hold on any commercial construction over 30,000 square feet. If enacted, the town would look over its current zoning laws and look into bringing some "outside planning professionals" to help consult on possible new zoning regulations.

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