The Town of Colonie's Comprehensive Plan Review Committee got a little more than it asked for when seeking public comment for amendments to the plan created in 2005 on Dec. 13, when several residents from the western end of town asked for them to look into rezoning.
Colonie Councilman and member of the committee Daniel Hornick had to play crowd control when several members of the business community from western Colonie claimed the value of their land significantly decreased after the zoning changed from Industrial to Residential.
It started with resident Suzanne Perry-Potts when she refuted a part of the vision statement where it said Colonie contains desirable neighborhoods, pedestrian safe roadways, open green spaces and superior recreation resources with business friendly development.
"It used to be the most desirable," she said. "But now a lot of people don't think so."
She went on to say that the announcement of future meetings where zoning and planning were to be discussed were never relayed to the western end of town and argued for businesses' need to change to Industrial zoning, involving the Pine Bush Preserve.
"Businesses in that area need industrial zoning," she said. "We do not want to be non-conforming"
A petition opposing the "designation of ownership" over their private land will be presented to the committee on Dec. 20 for a public hearing.
Another resident and business owner Dave Raber said he would not be able to sell his business because the area is now zoned as residential, claiming his buildings are "worthless" and that if the town wanted to be considered business friendly that the zoning would be changed back to industrial.
"You need to address and put in the Comprehensive Plan that the western part of Colonie has to be taken into consideration," he said.
Trying to steer the conversation back on track, Hornick said that all the meetings the residents claim they were not notified of were published in official newspapers. More importantly, he stressed that the committee has not been delegated the powers to provide recommendations on zoning.