New Scotland town board hears growth reports

The New Scotland Town Board asked town attorney Mike Mackey to draft a six-month extension to the existing moratorium on commercial zone development at its Wednesday, Dec. 10, meeting.

At that same meeting, Daniel Mackay, founder of the advocacy group New Scotlanders for Sound Economic Development, announced he will run for a seat on the town's planning board, and encouraged others in support of change to do the same.

Town Supervisor Tom Dolin said he and the Town Board considered asking the town's attorney to draft a three-month extension, but after discussing the matter, they realized resolving the commercial zone issue might take a bit longer. The current moratorium expires March 1.

The initial six-month moratorium and subsequent three-month extension both proved to be too short to resolve the issue, causing the town to play it safe and consider another six months of the moratorium.

We've been wrong the last two times, Dolin said, as he elicited a chuckle from those in attendance.

If the six-month extension to the moratorium is officially adopted, the town will use that time to consider how to proceed in drafting new legislation for the town's zoning code.

There are two positions opening up on the planning board in the new year, Mackay said; one renewed annually and one is for Planning Board Chairman Robert Staph's position, which carries a seven-year term. Staph has served since 1992.

Mackay cited "the need for new energy and vision" as reason to challenge Staph.

He also questioned why the Town Board has not advertised the position more aggressively.

"The Town Board has not sent any signal to the public that we need renewal," Mackay said.

Others at the meeting voiced support for arguments in favor of a size cap on retail buildings, as NS4SED had advocated since Sphere Development LLC announced plans to develop the former Bender Melon Farm with a 137,000 square-foot "anchor" store, such as Target.

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