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Bethlehem looks to update zoning code

The Town of Bethlehem is undergoing a process to update its zoning code.

The Town Board on March 9 forwarded a slew of changes to the Planning Board for review. It's normal for the code to be overhauled every few years, said Town Planner Jeffrey Lipnicky.

I think the town really has approached this for the last few years as a review every two year type thing, he said.

The last time the code was revisited was in October 2008.

There are dozens of changes proposed, among them: allowing temporary banners or signs, like grand opening signs, be displayed; expanding the zones where townhomes can be built; setting standards for a pre-approval process review so developers can get Planning Board feedback before a formal submission; adding agritourism to the code as a permitted use; and adding language that would guide cell phone towers to municipally owned and other land types before residential.

"Most of the stuff here is just amendments to the code that arise out of problems or issues that we have administering it over the last couple years," Lipnicky said.

The most significant change would be amendments to include elements of the Route 9W Corridor Study, which largely sets restrictions so as not to hamper future growth in that area.""

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