Schallop and Richards named to New Scotland planning board

The Enterprise — Sean Mulkerrin
Ready to plan: Peter Richards and Amy Schallop, the newest appointees to the New Scotland Planning Board, attend their first meeting on Tuesday.

NEW SCOTLAND — The town is off to a fast start this new year.

At its reorganizational meeting on Monday, Jan.1, the New Scotland Town Board welcomed new member Daniel Leinung, who takes over for Laura Ten Eyck; named two new members to the planning board; and made a number of appointments.

Then, the next night, on Jan. 2, the newly appointed Amy Schallop and Peter Richards were present for their first meeting as members of the New Scotland Planning Board.

Councilmembers Patricia Snyder, who could not be present for the Jan. 1 meeting, and Adam Greenberg conducted the interviews for the new planning board members.

“We had a strong set of candidates, we interviewed six of seven people — which is the most applications we’ve had for these positions in a long time,” Greenberg told The Enterprise.

Greenberg had thought that the interest in the positions could be attributed to a few different things: past applicants were reached out to and were receptive to being interviewed again; having just come off a local election, he said, people could have been more tuned into local politics; and, he said, that there is just more interest in politics these days because of what is happening in Washington, D.C.

He points out that the latest iteration of the planning board will be beneficial to all the town’s residents, due to its of geographical and gender diversity.

“We’re represented in the village [Voorheesville], in Clarksville, in the New Scotland Hamlet area, up on Indian Ledge — so it’s a well-balanced board,” he said.

The planning board is now made up of three men, Charles Voss, Thomas Hart, and Richards, and two women, Christine Galvin and Schallop, and one male alternate, Robert Davies.

Schallop is an attorney with the state. She is married and has three grown children. She has lived New Scotland for fewer than two years, and in the town of Bethlehem for over 20 years before that. Her term on the planning board is set to expire Dec. 31, 2020.

Although relatively new to the community, Schallop said she has a long background in public service and volunteer work.

“I moved out here, and loved the more laid-back rural atmosphere and I thought getting involved with the planning board would be a good way to give back to the community,” she said.

“She can lend that kind of expertise to the planning board,” Greenberg said of Schallop

At the Jan. 2 planning board meeting, Schallop was in agreement with Greenberg that her work as an attorney will help in her new position on the board.

She said that her background and ability in the reading and comprehension of sometimes hard-to-understand laws and regulations will better inform her as she applies those laws and regulations to whatever application is before the board.

Richards works as a programmer, is a lifelong New Scotland resident, and is single. Both his parents were involved in town government as well; his mother served on the planning board and his father was on the zoning board.

He said that he wanted to get involved because he sees the town growing at a fast rate and he'd like to have some input in how its planned, and be a voice for what the community wants, not just what developers want.

Greenberg said that Richards has been to numerous meetings and has been involved in different issues in the town in the past.

“He presented himself well in the interview,” Greenberg said of Richards, whose term is slated to run through Dec. 31, 2022. “He was just a strong candidate.

“I think we have one of the strongest boards we’ve ever had,” Greenberg said.

Greenberg also said that the planning board alternate, Davies, was asked about the full-time position. But Davies’s job as director of the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation’s Division of Lands and Forests keeps him very busy, and Davies thought that it wouldn’t be fair to the town to take on a more involved role at this time, Greenberg said.

Other business

In other business:

— The town board appointed: J. Michael Naughton as New Scotland’s attorney; Robert Parmenter as town historian; Crystal Peck as the planning and zoning boards attorney; Charles Voss as chairman of the planning board; Douglas Miller as public safety commissioner, chairman of the public safety committee, and town constable; Kevin Demarest, Robert Markel, and Jeremy Cramer as town constables; Kenneth Guyer as deputy public safety commissioner; Cary Patak as an ethics board member; Lyon M. Greenberg, M.D., Adam’s father, as an ethics board member as well as chairman; Kevin Schenmeyer as dog warden captain; James Duncan as dog warden; and the chiefs of each fire district as fire wardens;

— The town board also announced its members’ liaison appointments, Doug LaGrange: highway, assessing, building, inter-municipal relations, and senior outreach; William Hennessy Jr.: water committee, youth and recreation, parks, and highway; Snyder: planning and zoning boards, senior outreach, schools, libraries, and the village of Voorheesville; Greenberg: zoning board, public safety, town properties, building department; and Leinung: New Scotland Historical Association, Clarksville Historical Society, Onesquethaw-Coeymans Watershed Council, and water committee;

— The planning board approved modifications to a restrictive covenant in Stone Creek Estates, which requires that each lot not have a fence, wall, or enclosure, and that no animal-restraint devices be allowed on the exterior of homes. This modification will allow the eventual-new owner, Carolyn Sikule, to build a fence along the side of the house and create an enclosed exercise area for her service dog;

— The planning board told Maxim Real Estate, LLC that it needed further clarifying documentation from Albany County for the parcel of land it is seeking to subdivide on Toby Lane. The board said Maxim needed the parcel’s 1968 deed that is filed with the county to determine the parcel’s exact property lines; and

— The planning board gave direction to Kathryn Costello, project manager for Apex Solar Power, who was representing Thomas Popolizio of 72 Koonz Rd., who is seeking to install a ground-mounted solar photovoltaic system in his backyard to offset the cost of his energy bill. The board said that Apex needs to submit a plan and description of screening the ground-mounted system, as is required by law. This could be an earth berm or some other kind of landscaping, or an architectural detail “which will harmonize the proposed structure with the character of the property and surrounding area.”

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