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Another hearing for notifications

At public hearing, support given for even larger neighbor notification radius

— Colonie residents alternately expressed concern and support at a public hearing held Thursday, March 28, for an amendment to the town code that would require expanded neighbor notification requirements for developers.

Town officials and the Land Use Law Review Committee have been discussing amending several chapters of the town code, which has no requirement to provide specific notification on construction projects. A New York state law requires that towns must publish any major changes to projects and neighbors living with 200 feet of a proposed project need to be notified about the plans.

In response to citizen concerns raised a few months ago, the Land Use Law Review Committee came up with the proposed changes for notification, which vary by the type of project. Under the proposal, the notification radius would be 500 feet in single- and multi-family residential zones, for a PDD, for variance application and for rezoning greater than an acre. It would be 250 feet for a redevelopment site plan, for special use permits in single- and multi-family residential zones and for rezoning of less than an acre.

Any developer would have to reach out to neighbors in that radius and provide information about the project being undertaken. The notification is typically accomplished by mail.

Brett Williams, an intern at the Town Attorney’s office and a second-year Albany Law School student, presented research before the public hearing. He reviewed the town codes throughout New York and found of the 932 towns in the state, Colonie is the 15th most populous. Williams said he looked at 240 town codes in New York and 161 have no neighbor requirements except for wireless telecommunication towers.

Of the 27 Upstate towns with populations of more than 30,000, which includes Colonie, only seven require notification. Clifton Park is the only other town in the area that has implemented notifications into the town code.

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