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Zoning laws get approval

Northampton policies took 2 years to draft

May 17, 2012
By JOHN BORGOLINI , The Leader Herald

NORTHAMPTON - Officials have narrowly adopted the town's new zoning and subdivision laws that have been under development for two years.

The Town Board on Tuesday voted 3-2 to enact the new guidelines, and officials said they were relieved the process - which included two dozen meetings of several different groups - was over.

"Nobody's going to like it 100 percent, but if there's a problem, we can always change it," said Councilman William Gritsavage, who voted in favor of the regulations, along with Councilman Darryl Roosa and Supervisor Linda Kemper.

"There has been lots of debate, and people on the Zoning Commission came to a concensus on the decision that was made," Kemper said. "Everybody wasn't happy with everything, but they came to a consensus."

Councilmen Ivar Anderson and Bob Ellsworth, who voted against the regulations, said they like some of the regulations but couldn't give their full support.

"I think we've gone overboard in the amount of rules and regulations," Anderson said. "It hasn't followed the comprehensive plan the way it started out to be."

The plan will limit business development to certain areas along Route 30 and create a golf course district near the Sacandaga Golf Course, as well as a waterfront commercial district along select parts of the Great Sacandaga Lake shoreline, mixed-use districts for commercial and residential use and four districts that are designated strictly for residential use. Most of the western part of the town is designated as a resource conservation district.

"Basically, the Planning Board gave us a new comprehensive plan," Roosa said. "The old zoning dated back to 1973. This is going to bring us into the 21st century, and things have changed."

Kemper said the new laws will offer clarity to members of the Zoning Board of Appeals, as well as help landowners understand how to approach a subdivision.

"Things are clearly defined, whereas before, it was a matter of guesswork and interpretation," Kemper said.

"It's been needed. We haven't had definite rules and regulations, so now we do have more," Anderson added.



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