Size cap law returns

Thorny issue of from the past will be reintroduced in New Scotland

The commercial size cap issue is set to rear up once again in the Town of New Scotland.

Councilman Daniel Mackay is expected to introduce a size cap bill at the Monday, April 11, meeting of the Town Board. The board will probably then kick off the review process for new laws, said Supervisor Tom Dolin.

I expect the board will move that it be sent to the town Planning Board as required, and also to the county Planning Board for their review and their comment, he said.

A public hearing would also have to be held before the law could be voted on.

The new iteration of the bill closely resembles the past effort. If passed, it would create a separate commercial zoning classification " Commercial-B " which would be centered on the Route 85/85A intersection. A variety of limitations would apply within this zone, most notably a size cap of 50,000 square feet for single stores and 100,000 square feet for shopping centers with multiple businesses.

The proposed law's language explains those requirements are well in line with the town's comprehensive plan and what leaders heard from the public during the last debate over the size cap.

Mackay did not return multiple calls for comment.

This cap, if approved, could actually serve as something of a stop-gap measure. The town is in the midst of a committee review of the 85/85A area, funded by a grant from the Capital District Transportation Committee. That review is expected to return zoning changes in the area but isn't due until early next year.

The previously proposed size cap actually had a majority support on the board, but a 3-2 vote in January of 2010 wasn't enough to pass it. A supermajority was required since business owners in the area submitted a protesting petition with more than 50 percent of the affected parties' signatures. It's assumed an attempt to pass this law would meet the same obstacle.

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