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New Scotland cancels size-cap hearing

A public hearing on New Scotland's latest commercial zoning law has been cancelled as the Albany County Planning Board decided it lacks provisions dealing with density.

The public hearing was scheduled for Wednesday, June 17.

The Albany County Planning Board did not approve the Town of New Scotland's zoning law, Local Law B, calling for an 85,000 square-foot size cap on retail development. The county planning board reviewed the law and determined it did not address the issue of "density," and therefore needs to be revisited. Density refers to the number of stores or shopping centers that would occupy the more than 300-acre commercial zone.

"The consequences of multiple shopping centers with retail businesses occupying 85,000 square feet, each with significant regional draw, at or near the proposed development caps, is unacceptable in terms of cumulative impacts," according to the statement.

It cites effects of state and county roadways, law enforcement, health, safety, noise, solid waste production, and for "erosion, flooding, leaking and draining problems, the removal or destruction of large quantities of vegetation or fauna, visual and aesthetic impacts and related impacts to adjacent municipalities."

Town Supervisor Tom Dolin said the next meeting of the Town Board is on Wednesday, June 10, and the board will discuss possible alternatives to the law. A four-vote supermajority would be needed to pass Local Law B, since the Albany County Planning Board disapproved, however it cannot be voted until a public hearing is held, but as Dolin pointed out, the public hearing has been canceled.

"We have to go back to the drawing board and have further discussion," Dolin said.

Check back at www.spotlightnews.com and the Wednesday, June 3, issue of the Spotlight Newspaper for an update to the story

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