DeWitt: Code confusion reigns

"The incoming supervisor [Ed Michalenko] will have some public information meetings in which people will be invited and we'll go over it," Robb said of the evaluation process.

How would an Industrial to High Tech zoning change affect residents and their rights?

At the public hearing, 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. The response given was that permits would be required for such amenities whether or not the zoning map was changed.

"You still need permission from the zoning board," Robb said. "Just a different kind."

Under the current zoning code in an Industrial district, residents who want to expand or build onto their property must apply for a specific permit from the zoning board.

"What the new code says is you're still grandfathered, you still may be there, no one's going to force you out," Robb said. "But if you do want to expand, you'll need to apply for a variance from the zoning board as opposed to a specific permit. Both need zoning board approvals, it's just that a variance is a little harder to get."

The same rules apply for residents living in a High Tech district, Robb said.

The zoning code updates, just approved by the town board which involves updated terminology is a thoroughly modern document, Robb said.

"We think it will be a real benefit to people for the protection of their homes or businesses and with the flexibility and the ease with which new or renovated or modified uses can take place," he said.

The zoning code changes take effect Jan. 1. For more information, call the Development and Operations Office at 446-3768 x 172 or x173, or visit townofdewitt.com/zoningupdate.

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