New Scotland getting its zoning ducks in a row

Enterprise file photo

New Scotland Councilman Adam Greenberg said the town’s zoning codification, set for a May 13 public hearing, will take different zoning laws adopted over the years and put them in one place. 

NEW SCOTLAND — The public hearing to be held on May 13 by the New Scotland Town Board isn’t for a new law but rather to take decades of old laws and put them in one place. 

When the town adopts a new law — for example, its 2017 solar law — it posts the bill on the town’s website, along with another roughly 140 separate hyper-linked laws and ordinances, said Councilman Adam Greenberg.

But the issue is that the new solar law is not part of New Scotland’s main zoning law — there are many examples like the solar law that have occurred over the years, Greenberg said. “So what this codification does is it takes all those laws and it brings them into this one zoning document, or at least to the degree that we could do that,” he said.

So now, whether you’re a developer or a contractor; a resident; a town board member; or a member of the planning or zoning board, there is a single document that you can read to see the town’s main zoning law.

The single source is important because, as an example, someone could go to the town’s main zoning law and see nothing about solar, and conclude: I don’t have to contact the building department or there’s no guidance for what needs to be done. But, in fact, there is a solar law on the books.

Now, the solar law will have its own section in the new zoning law because it’s currently on the town website listed (along with two other solar-related laws) with the other 140 separate hyper-linked laws and ordinances.

Having the codification and all of the town’s zoning in one place will make future zoning updates a bit easier, but the town didn’t want to put the cart before the horse, Greenberg said.

“We did not want to make any updates to the zoning law that were [recommended] in the comprehensive plan and just other places where we’ve come across them through years of [zoning and planning board meetings] where people say, ‘Wait, this doesn’t make sense.’ We didn’t want to start to make those changes until we had one document we could make them in,” he said. 


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