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New zoning draft in New Scotland

Councilman Rich Reilly introduced a draft zoning law that would include an 85,000 square-foot size cap on buildings and favors commercial, rather than residential, buildings in the commercial zone. His law also includes a 250,000 square foot-cap on shopping centers.

Reilly introduced the draft at a Monday, April 6, special workshop meeting.

Reilly said his law is closer in composition to the New Scotland Planning Board's draft, which eliminated a 50,000 square foot size-cap on commercial buildings.

I prefer some of the community impact analysis of their law, he said.

The Planning Board's recommendation involved making potential developers proivde assessments of how proposed projects will affect the community.

Planning Board Chair Robert Stapf said at Thursday, Feb. 19, planning board workshop that "community sized" developments should be permitted, and those could be as large as 300,000 square feet of building area.

Reilly said traditional residential buildings are not included as a special use possibility in his draft, although mixed-use projects with a residential component would be permitted.

New Scotland Supervisor Tom Dolin said he continues to favor a draft of zoning law with a 50,000 square-foot size cap, as proposed by Liz Kormos and Mike Naughton, members of the Commerical Zone Advisory Committee.

"It's a big-box law. It doesn't comply with the provisions of the Comprehensive Plan," Dolin said.

Dolin said he does think an 85,000 square-foot retail building could sustain itself at that location without a "regional" draw. "I don't think it can sustain itself financially," he said.

He said the New Scotland Town Board is meeting on Wednesday, April 15, and he has included Reilly's draft on that agenda.

Reilly said he is interested in the impact a particular project, such as Sphere Development LLC's plan to bring a 137,000 square-foot retail anchor to the corner of Route 85 and Route 85A, rather than broad facts and figures about hypothetical projects, as he said, some people in the town have.

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