DeWitt: Zoning update complete

The town of DeWitt will be undergoing some changes. Changes to the town's zoning code have been underway for several years. This week, the board will present its final draft for public inspection.

For the past 40 months, the DeWitt Planning Board has been hard at work on a new zoning code. A seven-member committee made up of councilors, planning board members; attorneys made up the draft. The group also had help from the consulting firm of Peter J. Smith & Co. of Buffalo. The project has been in the works since August 2004.

Dick Robb, commissioner of development and operations, said that the last revision to the code occurred in 1967. He said that many of the codes were out of date and obsolete.

One of the biggest issues of the zoning code is that of the coal gasification plant that was going to be built on Ogle Road. With the new zoning plan this area that was once zoned for industrial use will now be for high tech business. Robb said that the coal plant was not the catalysis for the rezoning project. He said that it was a coincidence that the coal plant project came about as they were working on rezoning.

To prevent the controversial plant from coming to DeWitt, the committee turned the area that was originally to be an industrial zone into one that is specifically for high tech industries. Another spent quarry in the area was also changed to a high tech zone. Robb said that this was not the only zone changed from the original revision draft.

Robb said that the owners are not going to be happy about this change, but that the town needs to think in the long term to ensure the health of residents and local businesses. The owners, he said "have gone on record saying that they oppose changes to the zoning."

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