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Clifton Park looks to Town Center zoning

An artist's rendering of Clifton Country Road in Clifton Park, if proposed walkabilitly measures are implemented.

An artist's rendering of Clifton Country Road in Clifton Park, if proposed walkabilitly measures are implemented.

— As towns in the northern stretches of the Capital District grow and change, so does their land use. To better equip themselves with the necessary tools to manage growth, some towns are revisiting their zoning practices.

The Town of Malta recently adopted a new zoning system call form-based code zoning, for instance. Now Clifton Park is about to embark on an effort to overhaul its zoning practices to address issues like diversity of goods and services, walkability and streetscapes.

The first step toward implementing new zoning is a draft plan that includes recommendations for land use determined by public input. The plan focuses on the community’s vision for the town’s busiest area, the Town Center. It will be presented on Monday, June 4, during the Town Board meeting at 7p.m., which will provide the public a chance to review the progress before the board considers adopting it.

The next step is applying that vision as it relates to the area’s zoning, a process that is to take place over the next year. The town was recently awarded a $50,000 grant from the Capital District Transportation Committee to embark on a zoning study. The final product of this process will be the updated zoning plan, which then becomes part of the town’s comprehensive plan. A consultant firm to aid in the process will be determined via a bidding process.

Through the grant, officials will continue to study the community’s vision for the Town Center area and implement recommendations from the draft plan using zoning as a tool to achieve that visionary goal.

The town aims to “prepare strategic zoning code changes that will maintain and strengthen the Town Center area as an economic engine while ensuring local zoning laws allow for future growth that advances the needs and desires of the community,” according to a release from the town.

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