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New Scotland workshop invites comment on building size cap

Widrick used the example of a high-end Crate and Barrel furniture store, which generally runs less than 50,000 square feet, and would certainly draw customers from outside the region. He compared it to a Stickley furniture store that is usually more than 50,000, but is more common to the area, and would not draw customers from as far of a geographic region.

He cited language in the town's comprehensive plan that indicates the purpose of the commercial zone under moratorium is to develop retail for "automobile" customers and have large parking areas to accommodate them.

According to language in the town's comprehensive plan, "The purpose of the commercial area is to provide areas for the location of businesses, which are dependent on automobile borne customers and which require large parking areas to be successful."

Widrick said he is unsure if Sphere will attend the workshop on Sept. 17.

"We bring a lot of attention. I don't think we want to do that. This is the landowners' time," he said.

Widrick said Saratoga Associates has advised Sphere on the matter, and said the proposed development is appropriate for New Scotland's rural setting.

According to a memo from Saratoga Associates, it is "generally understood that approximately 1 acre of buildable land is required for every 100,000 square feet."

The memo indicates a ratio could be worked so that there would be 1.75-acres for every 100,000 square feet of developed land.

Jeff Pine, a code enforcement officer in the building department, said Sphere's proposal is the first of its kind in the 10 years he has been in his position.

"We really haven't had any real push for commercial development since I've been here."

Pine estimated that the largest standing building in the entire town of New Scotland is the Colonie County Club, and the largest commercial building is no more than 10,000 feet.

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