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

Planning Board member Cynthia Elliot said parts two and three of the definition of "Individual Retail/Wholesale Trade" should be removed from the definition. She said that the definition will affect not "big box" stores, but other businesses in the town as well.

"It smacks of a statement that I have made at board meetings 'you can be successful in New Scotland, but we will punish you if you are too successful.' I believe that this is the most harmful part of this law to the landowners," said Elliot, in her recommendation.

"The report from the town Planning Board is contrary to [the report from] the Albany County Planning Board, which voted unanimously in favor of the law," said Supervisor Tom Dolin.

The Albany County Planning Board (ACPB) approved the law, with an advisory, on Wednesday, Feb. 17.

In their decision, the ACPB advised that "The Town is urged to continue to evaluate the build out scenarios on properties within the commercial zone under this local law in order to ensure compatibility with the Town Comprehensive Plan, due to the size of the total acreage in the zone, the opportunities for other uses by subdivision, and PUD requests."

Dolin shrugged off Stapf's objections as "pro-big box". He said "Mr. Stapf has been pro-big box since the day this controversy started, and he is still pro-big box." Dolin said that Stapf's views are in direct opposition to the views of the people of the town, as indicated by last year's elections.

He also said that the Planning Board's report is advisory, and as of yet no changes to the law are being considered. "I think the law, as presented, will accomplish the goals of the town," he said.

The Town Board will be holding a public hearing on the law at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday March 11, at Voorheesville High School. The board will also hold a special session of the Town Board to consider the adoption of the law immediately after the public hearing.

For information on Local Law B, including the complete comments of the Planning Board visit the town's website at townofnewscotland.com.

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