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Zoning panel member asked to step down

A member of New Scotland's Commercial Zoning Advisory Committee has been asked to resign due to a prior relationship with a potential buyer of the Bender Melon Farm, a key piece of property in ongoing discussions regarding zoning laws in the town.

According to a written statement from New Scotlanders for Sound Economic Development, Liz Kormos was asked to step down because of a potential conflict of interest.

Kormos is a member of New Scotlanders for Sound Economic Development, also known as NS4SED, and a supporter of a 50,000-square-foot size cap on retail developments in the town of New Scotland.

According to the statement, released Tuesday, Sept. 30, Roz Robinson, chairwoman of the zoning committee, brought up the conflict of interest concerns during executive session at the committee's Wednesday, Sept. 24, meeting.

Robinson had no comment as of press time about the NS4SED statement, but when asked Monday, Sept. 29, about Wednesday's executive session, she said the Town Board has been apprised of the situation and may be taking the lead on the matter. She would not comment on specifics of the executive session citing personnel matters.

CZAC, which was commissioned by the town to draft new zoning laws to be more compatible with the town's comprehensive plan, has not yet made a decision on a size cap recommendation.

A temporary moratorium on new buildings larger than 30,000 square feet has been in place since May to allow the town time to address its zoning laws. The moratorium was enacted in response to a commercial development proposed by Syracuse-based Sphere on the Bender Melon farm property that would include a 137,000-square-foot anchor store.

According to the statement released by NS4SED, Councilwoman Peg Neri's CZAC's appointee John Biscone and Councilman Rich Reilly's CZAC appointee Cindy Elliot also support Kormos' resignation.

New Scotlanders for Sound Economic Development wrote in its statement that Kormos will not "resign under pressure, charged prematurely with an incorrect and incomplete set of facts in a discussion that was closed to the public. Kormos has requested that the New Scotland Town Board review and decide the matter, and has asked for the opportunity to discuss the allegations before the Town Board. She has waived her rights to confidentiality so that there can be a full and open inquiry."

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