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Changes to home business rules sent to town

"The new law, as I see it here, provides much more guidance to those types of uses and what the limitations are," said Feeney.

Feeney said the law could even help reduce congestion in a densely populated community. He said that allowing people to work from home could reduce the number of cars on the road, and provide the opportunity for neighbors to walk to their accountants or hairstylists.

"From my perspective [the proposed law] is more restrictive when there is a likelihood of impact, and less restrictive when there is no likelihood of impact," said Linda Clark, the board's attorney.

Town Planner Jan Weston said the new law would not allow any home occupation that is not allowed under current law. She said the intent is to clarify and streamline the process.

The planning board unanimously approved sending the revisions on to the Town Board, with the recommendation that the town have the law reconsidered by the Zoning Review Committee due to a procedural oversight by the committee.

Weston said the recommendation was made because when the committee considered the proposed law, they did so with the belief that the town limited regional shopping centers to 1 million square feet. In a 1999 court case in the State Supreme Court in Albany County, the developers of Crossgates successful argued to have that law overturned.

The board recommendation was made in the case the Town Board wanted to review the effect that provision will have on the new law. The 1 million square foot limit on regional shopping centers was not in place under the proposed law.

The Town Board will hold a public hearing on the new zoning law, at its Tuesday, May 4 meeting, after this article goes to press. For updates visit Spotlightnews.com. Full text of the law can be accessed on the town's Web site at townofguilderland.org.

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