On Tuesday, May 4, the Guilderland Town Board held a public hearing on revisions to the zoning law dealing primarily with home occupations and mixed-use developments, but the law was sent back to the Zoning Review Committee over concerns that the wording would make Crossgates a non-conforming use.
While much of the public comment focused on home occupations in McKownville, the law was sent back to the committee to reconsider amending a provision that would make Crossgates a non-conforming use, as well as a provision that would allow more residents to reside in mixed-use developments.
The public and the board discussed home occupations for much of the meeting with Councilmen Mark Grimm and Warren Redlich objecting to the need for a permit to have a minor home occupation, which by definition cannot be discernable from outside the home.
Grimm insisted that home occupations that do not affect neighbors should be allowed without the need to notify the town.
"This is most certainly a right to privacy," he said.
Redlich said the language of the proposal was vague.
"If there could be some clarification as to what does not need a permit, that would make me more comfortable," said Redlich.
Following the discussion, Supervisor Ken Runion said he would like the law to include a provision that says if you are not running a business from home but working from home as an employee of a business, you will not need a permit.
Another issue discussed by the Town Board, and previously discussed by the Planning Board, was a provision in the law that would limit regional shopping centers to 1 million square feet. Prompted by a letter from lawyers representing Crossgates, a 1.6 million-square-foot shopping center, the board found out that the 1 million square feet cap on regional shopping centers was overturned by a New York State Supreme Court ruling in 1999 when the Town Board passed the law.