New Scotland weighs zoning options

He said, though, that by the time the Town Board reviews their recommendations and conducts its own public hearings, it could be an additional 60 or 90 days. They then have the option of extending the moratorium or reviewing the committee's recommendation without extending it beyond its deadline.

New Scotland Town Supervisor Tom Dolin said an extension on the moratorium is "50/50" at this point.

"I don't think we'll know until September," he said. "It's a matter of how fast [the advisory committee] gets their report in."

He said he does not expect it will be more than three or four months before the advisory committee makes their final report and the town board conducts its own reviews.

Once the town gets past determining an appropriate building cap, Dolin said, it will have gotten over its biggest challenge.

Bob Prentiss, a resident and former state assemblyman, has been an outspoken critic of the proposed commercial development at the Bender melon farm site. He said he supports the moratorium and careful examination of the zoning laws, as discussed at the meeting.

He also said he hopes New Scotland, after it makes its changes to the zoning laws, does not let the area become overrun with traffic and regional commercial structures.

"Clearly, the comprehensive master plan recommends against 'large, regionally drawing commercial operations,' identifies 'small-scale stores as the preferred type of commercial development,' and allows for mixed-use buildings to meet local residents' needs," he said in a written statement.

He said Crossgates, Glenmont and the Colonie Shopping Plaza are within 10 minutes and can accommodate large regional commercial needs.

"After reviewing the comprehensive master plan, existing zoning regulations and the Commercial Zone Advisory Committee's Report, I therefore would join with other citizens tonight in supporting at least a 50,000-square-foot building size cap on all retail and wholesale trade," he added. ""

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