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DeWitt postpones zone changes

Homeowners affected by proposed zoning changes in the town of DeWitt turned out in full measure for the Dec. 10 public hearing at DeWitt Town Hall. The shift, turning industrial zones into high tech, also known as light industrial, would prohibit heavy industries from moving in to certain areas of the town.

Town Councilor Ken Andrews said the Zoning Update Committee, of which he is chairman, received several emails and letters from residents regarding opposition to the proposed zoning map changes. The committee, which met last week to discuss public comments from two public hearings held in November, voted unanimously to take no action on rezoning lands in response to the public outcry.

"DeWitt deserves the very best this committee and our consultant have to offer," Andrews said in a recent press release. "So, we will review and modify the zoning map to meet the long term community and economic development needs of our town."

The DeWitt Town Board heard the committee's recommendation Monday night, after which Supervisor Jim DiStefano opened the hearing to the public, comprised mostly of apprehensive residents.

Some homeowners asked if the high tech zoning would put limitations on what they could do with their property, such as put in a pool or build a fence.

"Not one of you lives in these areas. Not one of you," said DeWitt resident Debra Campbell, who is opposed to the high tech zone change. "I suggest you start in your own back yards when you want to change something. We live in the country because we want our privacy, and we demand it."

Andrews said there is no ulterior motive to take away anybody's rights. He said the committee had the residents' best interests in mind while they were factoring in the proposed zone changes.

Dick Robb, zoning and planning commissioner, said some of the fears came about due to rumors and misunderstandings. He said he feels high-tech zoning will create a higher quality of life for residents.

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