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New Scotland gets third size-cap vote

Daniel Mackay was sworn in as New Scotland's newest Town Board member at the Friday, Jan 1, organizational meeting, making him the third vote needed on the board to enact a 50,000-square-foot limit on the size of retail establishments in the town.

Democratic Town Supervisor Thomas Dolin and cross-endorsed Town Board member Douglas LaGrange, both sitting members of the board, represent the two other supporting votes for the enactment of the size-cap law. Both were able to hold off their Republican challengers in the November elections, while Mackay won the seat vacated by Margaret Neri.

Since 2008, the town has stopped just short of enacting a law banning large sized big box stores, opting to enact moratoriums on building the establishments. Three moratoriums have been passed since 2008, temporarily halting the development of large-scale retail establishments for 18 months.

The most current moratorium, unanimously passed by the town board on Aug. 31, expires Jan. 31.

The debate over the size-cap has come to a head over the past year. The September departure of LaGrange from the Republican committee, followed by the departure of six other members in October, highlighted the fact that the size-cap issue dominated the campaign rather than party affiliation.

LaGrange said the size-cap law "will probably be ready for the February regular meeting [of the Town Board]." He said he would like to have time to present the law to local businesses and gain their input.

LaGrange said he hopes for the Town Board to vote on the proposal by the first meeting in March.

"We want to get it out of the way," said LaGrange. "It's been going on way too long."

Mackay said he would also like to act quickly on the proposal, which mandates a size cap of 50,000 square feet per building, and 100,000 square feet per development in the commercial zone.

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