NEW SCOTLAND New Scotland has officially become a lot less industrial after a significant portion of the town’s industrial-zoned land near the railroad tracks was rezoned.
The Town Board on Wednesday, June 12, unanimously approved a widespread zoning change intended to better reflect the character of the community and what the land is suited to contain. The rezoning changed 163 acres of Industrial-zoned land to Residential Conservation (R-2), and another 43 acres of Industrial-zoned land to Residential Agricultural (RA). A pocket of 24 acres of Commercial zoned land below New Scotland Road was shifted to Residential-Hamlet (RH).
There was only a minor change made after a public hearing was held. A property owner with commercially-zoned property along the railroad tracks asked town officials to include it with surrounding RA zoning. The Town Board agreed to the change, for the small parcel of land. Before the zoning change to commercial for the property it had been RA, so the town was essentially reverting the zoning. Another public hearing wasn’t deemed necessary by the town.
“It wasn’t considered a significant change that would have to start up the process again … because it’s a request of the property owners and there is no real significance to the change,” Deputy Supervisor Douglas LaGrange said.
The rezoned industrial area had lacked needed infrastructure because only a limited amount of land is connected to the town’s water supply and the town’s sewer does not service the area.
Board members agreed to continue investigating any possible refinements or further zoning changes.
“I personally don’t really think we are done here with this area. We still have some industrial zone there that may not be appropriate for that area,” Councilman William Hennessy said. “I still think there is a question of going down that road a little bit further even as you cross the tracks.”
Town Supervisor Tom Dolin agreed with Hennessy and said the board decided to tackle “the easy part first.” Dolin said most of the rezoned land was vacant.
“There are other industrial-zoned areas which have existing uses and I think we decided to … take the vacant land and rezone that, and then another time addressing what we should do with the remaining industrial area,” Dolin said.