NEW SCOTLAND New Scotland has more than 515 acres zoned for industrial use, but industry isn’t exactly booming in the rural town.
The industrial classification stems from land’s proximity to the railroad tracks, but a significant portion isn’t suited for large industrial uses, according to town officials. That’s why the town is proposing several zoning changes to better reflect reality.
Deputy Supervisor Douglas LaGrange gave a presentation at a Wednesday, March 13, Town Board meeting about the town’s proposed reclassification of 205 acres in the Industrial Zoning District, located south of New Scotland Road and along the eastern and western sides of New Scotland Road South.
“Quite frankly, when we started to get into what opportunities there were in this town for development, this whole area is delicate in an environmental sense,” LaGrange said. “It would just create a very big problem for the whole area environmentally if we were to continue with the potential of industrial there.”
LaGrange said the way the neighborhood has developed, the important waterways flowing into Five Rivers and the developmental analysis led to the targeted rezoning. The area also lacks the needed infrastructure for industrial uses because the town’s sewer does not service the area and only limited portions are connected to the town’s water supply.
Under the proposal, 163 acres of the land would be rezoned to Residential Conservation (R-2). Forty-three acres would be rezoned to Residential Agricultural (RA). The town would also reclassify a pocket of 24 acres of Commercial zoned land below New Scotland Road to Residential-Hamlet (RH).
Supervisor Thomas Dolin said he believes the “right choices” were made for the proposed rezoning.
“For five years I’ve been nervous some heavy-duty industrial thing would come in there … and we would never have any potential for residential there and it is beautiful land,” Dolin said. “In my mind it shouldn’t be wasted on industrial … there are plenty other areas in town that could absorb industrial.”
He also said there is still opportunity of commercial development within the town and the rezoning wouldn’t limit potential grow.
“There is plenty of commercial area in the town,” Dolin said. “We are not going to run out of commercial area.”
Comments about the proposed changes were received through several public hearings.
The proposal is being forwarded along to the town and county planning boards, which will provide recommendations. There are 13 tax map parcels proposed to be rezoned from Industrial to R-2, six from Industrial to RA and 17 from commercial to R-H.