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What you need to know for 01/20/2018

Malta to review zoning by tech campus

Malta to review zoning by tech campus

A new committee will be appointed to look at whether rezoning is needed in the southern part of Malt

A new committee will be appointed to look at whether rezoning is needed in the southern part of Malta, along routes 9 and 67.

All of the property along Route 67 east of Route 9 to the Stillwater town line is zoned for residential use, though the area has changed dramatically in recent years since the main entrance to the Luther Forest Technology Campus went in.

Residents of the small Maltaville hamlet have complained about the amount of activity from the campus and GlobalFoundries, as well as new truck traffic from the revived intermodal railyard in Halfmoon, and some believe existing groundwater quality problems have worsened. Residents there rely on wells for drinking water.

Stewart’s Shops, meanwhile, has proposed a store at the campus entrance, and John Bove, owner of the former My Way Cafe restaurant, recently complained to the Town Board that his property can’t be sold, given its residential zoning. Its approval to operate as a restaurant expired last fall, after the restaurant had been closed for a year.

“It seems appropriate to examine what we want in that area,” town Supervisor Paul Sausville said.

The Town Board on Monday is expected to appoint an eight-member committee. Sausville said the committee will be chaired by Bill Smith, a longtime town Planning Board member who recently became its chairman. Other members will be Deputy Supervisor Craig Warner; Councilwoman Tara Thomas; Town Planner Shelly Norton; Joyce Soltis, a member of the town Historic Preservation Review Commission; and Mark Allen, Harry McDonough and Christopher Luhn, who live or operated businesses in town.

“Their mission is to look at that particular area. In 20 or 30 years, what do we want that particular area to look like?” Sausville said.

The section of Route 9 between Route 67 and the downtown area is already zoned for commercial use, though only in a narrow strip along the highway.

The town of Stillwater in 2011 rezoned lands along a two-mile stretch of Route 67 near the railyard from residential to commercial in hope of attracting railroad-related warehousing, though none of that has happened yet.

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