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New Scotland weighs building guidelines

The New Scotland commercial zone advisory committee presented the Town Board with a progress report at the Wednesday, Aug. 14, meeting and suggested a moratorium extension might be necessary.

The committee outlined some of its proposed guidelines, including the desire for a mixed-use overlay zone, which would allow for some residential development while preventing commercial establishments with a regional draw. The committee also stressed a need for a cap on commercial building size and having provisions that provide leniency for exceeding the cap. It has not, however, agreed on a building size cap itself.

New Scotland currently has a moratorium on commercial development, meaning no new commercial buildings over 30,000 square feet can be constructed until the moratorium expires on Nov. 21.

The moratorium was put in place in response to public outcry against the proposed $4 million development of a 179-acre plot of land known as the Bender melon farm. Sphere Development LLC, a company based near Syracuse ,had plans to develop the land owned by MLF Enterprises, but the Town Board decided to place a moratorium on large commercial developments until the town could study the comprehensive plan.

The advisory committee has been charged with overhauling the commercial zoning regulations to better fit with the "comprehensive plan," set forth by the town.

The "comprehensive plan" lays out the overall vision as to how New Scotland should be zoned.

"Everyone seems to be content with our progress," said John Biscone, one of the advisory committee members.

Biscone said the advisory committee will most likely be finished with its final recommendations for meshing the zoning regulations and the comprehensive plan within the next two months, however the Town Board might need additional time to review those recommendations, extending past the end of the moratorium.

"We'll probably be done [with our recommendation] in 60 days," Biscone said.

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