CANTON A longtime Canton civic leader who is concerned about the possibility of urban sprawl wants town officials to restrict where future commercial development is allowed.
Peter E. Van de Water said elected officials should revise the towns existing zoning code to promote agriculture and open space, especially on town land adjacent to the village boundary.
Future commercial development should be restricted to the village limits, he told the Town Council last week.
Mr. Van de Water said that many communities throughout the United States have lost their bucolic character as a result of sprawling commercial development, and that he doesnt want to see Canton headed the same way.
I think Canton is rather unique at the moment. Most of the approaches are open space and agriculture. Not too many can say that, he said.
Mr. Van de Water is asking the Town Council to consider adopting five resolutions he prepared related to zoning.
Town Supervisor David T. Button said restrictive zoning regulations could make it more difficult to generate property tax revenue for the town. The Town Council, he said, has to balance the communitys aesthetics with the desire to keep the tax burden as low as possible for residents.
Council member Paul F. Backus said he was concerned about limiting development to the village because there isnt much property available there.
To address that issue, Mr. Van de Water suggested officials consider redefining the village boundaries.
Mr. Button encouraged Mr. Van de Water to approach village officials about his ideas. Meanwhile, the Town Council will consider his resolutions.
Yes, were open to discussing the ideas. Give us another month to review the material, Mr. Button said. If you want to prompt a meeting between the town and village, I think it would be well received. Our perception is the village has some challenges they need to deal with first.
In 1977, the Town Council changed zoning from rural/agricultural to commercial in some areas along the outskirts of the village.
Mr. Van De Water said he would like to restore those areas to rural/agricultural and open-space zones. In his proposals, existing businesses would be allowed to continue operation. If they cease to operate for a year, the property would revert to rural/agricultural.
His first resolution would prohibit additional commercial or business ventures on Route 68 West between Irish Settlement Road and Woodbridge Corners.
The second resolution would remove commercial zoning along a 4.4-mile stretch on Route 11 South from the village line to Eddy-Pyrites Road. Mace Used Cars, a landscaping business and the former Martin beer plant would be exceptions.
The third proposal would prohibit any more business development on Route 310 between State Street Road and Morley-Potsdam Road. The 2.6-mile stretch would continue as a rural/agricultural zone. The Smile Care dental office would be an exception.
The fourth resolution opposes a proposed zoning change for County Route 27, from the village line to the crossroads of County Route 27, County Route 25 and Pike Road.
The final resolution opposes the idea of creating a new zoning category in the town of Canton that would be called rural residential.