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Vista zoning law discussed in New Scotland

"We recognize the need for jobs, and sound economic development. We're not talking about any big-box retail, whatever retail is there would service the [tenants of the] buildings," Prentiss said.

Resident Christine Galvin-Rettig said she was troubled by the absence of certain language in the law, specifically dealing with "performance standards," and a definition for "light industry," with regards to the environmental impact and function of the development.

Teresa Bakner, who spoke on behalf of the developers, said the proposal itself has built-in environmental standards, and those will limit the environmental impact of the development.

Galvin-Rettig replied that even though Vista plans to have its own environmental standards, municipal law is needed to govern them and keep them in check.

"There is absolutely no standards whatsoever attached to this law," she said."[The planning board] has no guidance whatsoever of what is appropriate and what isn't."

She said that she is glad there will be a Planning Board review, but the board does not have the "proper tools" to conduct the review because there is no language in the law to measure the plan against.

"The town needs to apply some unified standards," Galvin-Rettig said.

She said the Planning Board cannot take each individual project and study it from a unique perspective, and that its job is to implement town law.

Dolin said New Scotland is trying to work with Bethlehem, draft a satisfactory version of the law and get the project moving.

"We're trying to be cooperative with our neighbor," Dolin said.

"New Scotland is trying to catch up to Bethlehem as far as developing the mixed economic development zone. Personally, I think [Galvin-Rettig] is probably right."

Dolin said they must look into the issues raised at the meeting regarding zoning and industrial programs.

"We've been kind of slow on our end of it," he said.

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