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Another town inches towards zoning

Nov 30, 2010 10:24 am
CAIRO - Doron Tyler Antrim reports in today's Catskill Daily Mail that the town of Cairo, where WGXC will be maintaining one of its studios, as well as its transmission tower, is moving ahead towards creation of its first-ever zoning ordinance -- making it something of a beacon for a number of other municipalities in Columbia and Greene counties still looking to codify its land use planning systems. The commission that has proposed what many are calling a residential-centric law announced this week that they are extending the public comment period for the proposed zoning law ro January 10, 2011, and plan to hold their first public work session today.

Today's session will focus on comments that have come in on a draft plan so far, including several from the town's planning board, criticisms from a local realtor, and other laments about what is being called a dearth of commercial zoning in the town. There were also kudos for the work being done. The commission’s first work session tonight, Nov. 30, is set for 6 p.m. today at Gallagher’s Banquet Hall.

It was anticipated the commission would set a date for its public hearing during Tuesday’s meeting, but officials say that will be postponed as the commission takes time to responds to the comments.

The zoning law was unveiled Nov. 4 during a public meeting in Cairo Town Hall.

The release of the plan caps a three-year effort to provide business owners, builders and residents with clear rules governing development.

The “rural-oriented” law divides Cairo into several residential, hamlet and commercial/mixed-use districts that call for specific uses and densities. Homes and home-based businesses are allowed in all districts, but business growth within the town will be centralized in the five hamlet districts, along Cairo’s Main Street and in commercial districts along Routes 23, 145 and 32.

The seven-member zoning commission has met regularly for more than three years to draw up the law. During that time, it also drafted amendments to the town site plan law, which were adopted earlier this year.

Following the zoning commission’s public hearing, which could come in January or February, it will hand the law to the town board. The town board must then schedule its own hearing.

Copies of the law and zoning maps are on file in town hall and the public library at 512 Main Street. All the documents, as well as the public comments, can be accessed online at www.planningbetterplaces.com/cairo.

Written comments or questions can be sent c/o The Cairo Zoning Commission to P.O. Box 922, Cairo N.Y. 12431.

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