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Town bans banners

"From what I understand you can have a temporary sign, but it has to be 'dated,' meaning it can't be there forever but for a specific event," Burns said. "I understand it to be like open house, special event, coming soon, opening soon, etc."

She said the updated law doesn't look prohibitive, but that during tough economic times, the town needs to be as accommodating as possible to new businesses.

"Bethlehem has not been a hotbed for new business -- look at Delaware Avenue for example. Big box stores don't have to worry as much as small businesses when it comes to signage. They can afford to have the most brilliant, state-of-the-art signage," Burns said. "Often small businesses struggle to find a sign that fits the regulation and also makes enough of a statement to get people to want to walk inside. We should be doing everything we can as a town to help the small business do business in Bethlehem."

There were four zoning changes also adopted by the town, including:

Changing North River Road, between Halter Lane and Anders Lane, from Heavy Industrial District to Rural Light Industrial District; changing the southwest corner of Bender land and Route 9W from General Commercial District to Commercial Hamlet District; changing the lots on the west side of River Road north of the intersection with Clapper Road from Mixed Economic Development District to Rural District; and changing lots southwest of the intersection of River Road and Wemple Road from Mixed Economic Development District to Rural Light Industrial District.

The town also approved some changes in the application process for amateur radio towers, which Cunningham described as "the last line emergency communication" for the town.

Democratic Councilman Kyle Kotary said the update is part of the evolution of the town's comprehensive plan.

"This is part of our ongoing process of evaluating and assessing certain zoning laws and procedures that both meet the specifics and spirit of the town's comprehensive plan and are reasonable and feasible in terms of enforcement," he said.

For a full list of the zoning changes adopted by the town board, look at the economic development and panning building division page on the town's Web site, www.townofbethlehem.org.""

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