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Size cap closer to becoming law, despite Planning Board's disapproval

New Scotland's Planning Board submitted its finalized comments on Local Law B, also known as the size-cap law, to the Town Board on Monday, Feb. 22. Despite the board being 6-1 against the size-cap, the law will still be considered by the Town Board after the public hearing, scheduled for Thursday, March 11 at Voorheesville High School.

The report is the final product of discussions that took place at the Tuesday, Feb. 2, and Tuesday, Feb. 16 meetings of the board.

Robert Stapf led the group of six board members who are against passing the law. He was chairman of the Planning Board when the controversy first began over two years ago, however, after the current Town Board was sworn in, Charles Voss was appoint as the chairman of the committee. Voss was the only member of the board that voiced support for the law.

Stapf said that he does not feel limiting development in the commercial zone to 50,000 square feet per unit and 100,000 square feet per development will make the town's commercial zone viable. He also said he that due to poor soil conditions in the commercial zone, residential development in the zone will be difficult.

Planning Board member Bob Smith voiced similar concerns to those of Stapf. In his recommendation he said, "I feel that 50,000 and 100,000 sq. ft. is too small. I believe 80,000 and 250,000 sq. ft. would be more appropriate."

Smith said that even if the cap were increased to 250,000 square feet, only 4 percent of the 7 million square feet of the Bender Farm would be developed. He also said that recent trends do not support the belief that businesses are down-sizing; instead, a trend among local retailers has been to create a one-stop shop environment for customers.

Both Smith and Stapf have also pointed out that there are a number of businesses in New Scotland that service a super-regional pool of consumers, and have no impact on the quality of life of the residents of New Scotland. They specifically mentioned Spaulding Inc., Dunston's Auto Salvage, Long Lumber, Olson Garden Center , Saber, Capital Upholstery, Heldeburg Roof Consultants, and a number of other businesses in New Scotland.

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