Size-cap law defeated

New Scotland's size cap law was defeated at a Thursday, March 11 special meeting of the Town Board at Voorheesville High School. Due to a protest petition signed by at least half of the businesses in the commercial zone, the 3-2 vote in favor of the law was not sufficient to pass the measure, which now requires a supermajority.

The Town Board introduced the size cap law, which was officially called Local Law B of 2010, at its Wednesday, Jan. 27 meeting. The vote to introduce the law and pass it on to the Planning Board passed 4 to 1, with Councilman Rich Reilly representing the only dissenting vote.

Thursday's meeting of the board immediately followed a public hearing that began with Town of Bethlehem Supervisor Sam Messina voicing his support for the law.

Messina said there were three reasons he supported the size-cap. Among these reasons were the traffic the size cap would bring to the area, the burden that a potential big-box store would put on the Town of Bethlehem's water supply, and the inability of trucks to fit under the Delaware Hudson railroad bridge, thus forcing delivery vehicles to travel closer to Town of Bethlehem residents.

The principles of balance, sustainability, and quality of life are apparent [in the law]it advances the balance that should be and is the cornerstone of the town's comprehensive plan, said Messina.

For the next two hours, a number of residents, and commercial property owners would voice either their support, concerns with, or objection to the size-cap law.

"People of this town have spoken, I think the Town Board should pass this law, why destroy a scenic area like this," said Louis Brown, a New Scotland resident.

Bob Prentiss, former assemblyman and NS4 member, said "This is the final moment we have all been waiting for." He also called for an end to the contention brought about by the law. He said "mud thrown is ground lost."

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