DeWitt: New zones approved

She further requested the board not get "sucked in by delay tactics," and instead, "vote tonight."

Businesses affected by the zone changes are grandfathered in so long as the business remains what it is.

If the owner wants to expand, they have to go to the Zoning Board of Appeals and follow a process similar to what they would have had to do if no changes occurred at all. If a business closes, and it does not fall into a Hi Tech category, it cannot be reopened. Eventually, nonconforming companies will be phased out.

While the town has been accused of acting unfriendly toward business and industry, Supervisor Ed Michalenko countered that "what is good for the environment is good for the economy."

"What you do in order to protect your resources -- air, water, soil -- it ultimately protects your residents," he said. "So when we defer to the neighborhoods of the residents over particular industrial use, it's not because we're business unfriendly, it's because we choose business and industries that are compatible with the lifestyles and the quality of life that we want to lead.

"In terms of property value and in terms of overall economy, oftentimes certain land uses are beneficial for a few, but very detrimental to the collective community that we call home," he continued. "So with that, we set zoning codes that we feel does the best for most."

Damaged, nonconforming homes

A second public hearing that paralleled the map changes considered a zoning text change for nonconforming homes in residential districts. The public made no comments, and the board unanimously approved Local Law 4 2008 as follows: if nonconforming homes are damaged beyond 50 percent due to fire, etc., they can now be replaced or rebuilt.

Resident complaints prompted the town to respond in their favor.

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