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UPDATED: Special zoning committee awaits approval in Guilderland

Guilderland Town Board members will be weighing in on a proposed list of members for a zoning review committee at its upcoming Tuesday, July 7 meeting.

The committee is designed to address zoning issues and bring the town's Comprehensive Plan and zoning laws into synch said Supervisor Ken Runion.

We're not looking to rewrite the entire code, Runion said. There's been some minor suggestions about things we could do to make things a little bit better."

Runion said the town code is now 20 years old, and a number of neighborhood studies, including McKownville, the West End and the Guilderland Hamlet, have been conducted in recent years. He said now is the time to begin a process of aligning the Comprehensive Plan and town code.

One issue that has cropped up in recent months has been signage, he said, and it will likely be addressed. Also, updating the code and modernizing it, as businesses have changed and mixed-use, smart-growth developments are flourishing when five or six years ago they were largely unknown, would be prudent.

Runion said he has recommended members with a background in business, planning and tried to comprise the board with members with diverse party affiliations, as the town has been criticized for not looking at economic development and being overly partisan.

"I wanted to make sure I didn't have more than three Democrats," Runion said on Friday, June 26.

Runion later amended that statment, not realizing there are four proposed Democrats for the committee, however, he is planning to add a ninth member to keep the Democratic Party in the minority, he said in a Monday, June 29 interview.

He said there are Democrats, Conservatives, Independents and a Republican on the board.

Runion has selected Bruce Sherwin, who served on the Town Board from 2001-2005, to chair the committee. The other nominees are: "Joseph Abbruzzese, an owner of Altamont Orchards; Peter Barber, Chair of the Guilderland Zoning Board of Appeals; Ken Brownell, a local commercial realtor; Kathy Burbank, Executive Director of the Guilderland Chamber of Commerce; Regina DuBois, who chaired the Guilderland Comprehensive Plan Committtee and served on the Town Planning Board; Steve Feeney, Chair of the Guilderland Planning Board; and Garry Robinson, owner of Robinson's Ace Hardware," according to a written statement.

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