New Scotland drafts moratorium following development plans

Over 250 residents came out for the New Scotland Town Board meeting Wednesday, March 26, although many of them didn't know exactly what they were coming out for.

Some of the rumors that have circulated around town for the past few weeks concerning a large development deal for the former Bender melon farm between routes 85 and 85A were laid to rest. However, many questions remain.

What is known is that Sphere Development LLC from Cazenovia outside of Syracuse is looking to develop 179 acres of land in New Scotland that is owned by MLF Enterprises, a group of area professionals who bought it more than 30 years ago. Now Sphere is said to have purchased the property and will be closing on it within a week.

After the meeting was concluded, it was also known that the residents in attendance were overwhelming against the project. Many condemned any type of development of the open fields, while others said the town needed to implement more regulations and that smaller development projects would be more suitable.

Town Assessor Julie Nooney said the parcel is assessed at $734,700 and contains a barn and little else. It is zoned commercial and Platform Realty Group has the property listed at $4 million.

Supervisor Thomas Dolin said information about plans for the property is vague, and he is pushing for a moratorium on large commercial building.

It was purchased by a group of lawyers and doctors, they bought it as an investment 30 years ago. There are rumors that Sphere is going to close next week, Dolin said. "The board has directed the town attorney to draft a moratorium."

Dolin added that the moratorium would likely include provisions like what size projects would be included and how long the construction suspension would last.

Gregory Widrick from Sphere Development spoke briefly to the town board and to residents about the project, and although he did not give any specifics, he dismissed several rumors and hinted at some details.

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