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Cairo Town Board at odds over zoning law amendment

Jul 04, 2018 12:45 pm
Daniel Zuckerman is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media a public hearing on a Cairo zoning law amendment turned heated, July 2. The discussion, involving residents and town board members, focused on the Main Street Commercial District Amendment intended to fill storefronts in the business district. The amendment would require owners of buildings that formerly housed a business on the ground floor to maintain the first floor for commercial use, Cairo Town Supervisor Daniel Benoit said. “... If you believe Main Street can be brought back again then this is a mechanism to foster that type of development,” Benoit said. First term councilman Jason Watts opposed the amendment as written, arguing that it restricts what owners can do with their property. And, Watts said, it has taken far too long for development to occur. “What about the people who own the land?” Watts said. “Why are we restricting people?” The Cairo Development Foundation's mission is to restore Main Street and to attract offbeat, eclectic shops that will give Cairo an identity, Foundation co-president Sherry True said. “We have no identity here in Cairo and nobody seems to want to identify who we are,” she said. “This has been going on for years and years and years.” The town’s 2017 zoning law was simplified to be more business-friendly and commercial and industrial areas were expanded, but large-scale industries have n’\ot taken the bait, Benoit said. The town is at a disadvantage — it cannot attract large-scale industrial development without the water or sewer infrastructure those enterprises need. The board tabled the resolution to adopt the law until August, Benoit said. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.