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Vista zoning law discussed in New Scotland

On Wednesday, July 23, the public discussed a draft of a law that would turn the Town of New Scotland's share of the Vista Technology Park development into a mixed economic development district.

Development of the tech park cannot begin until New Scotland changes the zoning regulations on the piece of land, which is currently zoned residential/agricultural.

Some of those who spoke at the a public hearing at the New Scotland Town Hall pushed for the proposed law to have more specific language and guidelines for environmental protection.

The Vista Technology Park, which will feature a variety of buildings and offices, will be located in both New Scotland and Bethlehem, and is being developed by the BBL Development Group.

The purpose of this [mixed economic development] district is to allow for coordinated inter-municipal development of planned office, industry, service and retail business and technology-based business, according to the law's filing form.

The technology park is expected to cost an estimated $200 million and take up 458 acres. The project will require 1.4 million square feet of office space, and developers say it could lure up to 5,000 employees to the area.

New Scotland Supervisor Tom Dolin said that while New Scotland does currently have a moratorium on commercially developed zones, it would not apply to Vista now or if it were to become a mixed economic development district.

Dan Hershberg, who spoke on behalf of the developers, said the development would not be an intrusion on the residents of New Scotland.

"Only a portion of the town is looking to rezone," Hershberg said.

He said that sewer and water will come from Bethlehem, and there is no roadway that will intrude on New Scotland.

Bob Prentiss, a former state Assemblyman, Albany County legislator and current local resident, said he supports the law that would permit the development.

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