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Sackets Harbor unveils new zoning map

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SACKETS HARBOR — A new planned zoning law for the village is expected to provide more clear guidance for residents and fix problems found in the current law.

The zoning amendments, presented Tuesday evening at a meeting of the village Board of Trustees, have been in the works for a few years. The current law has been in place for about 25 years.

“You have to look at the old zoning rules to see how ugly it is and to see how it plays out,” said David W. Altieri, the village’s heritage area director.

Among the changes are zoning boundaries based on character of area instead of irregular map lines, consolidated rules and better organization of the subdivision law.

One area of concern was the possibility of approving development based on the character of neighboring buildings, which was seen as potentially inconsistent.

Mr. Altieri said the goal was “finding balance between ‘You can’t tell me what to do’ and ‘How did that happen?’”

As one example of the unclear guidance in the current rules, Mr. Altieri told trustees the old rules allowed for the development of a putt-putt course, but not one for miniature golf.

“I don’t even know what the difference is,” he said.

After Mr. Altieri’s presentation, Mayor F. Eric Constance proposed waiting for at least a month to vote on the map and holding a public forum to discuss any issues found in the zoning plan.

Gary M. Gibson, chairman of the village Planning Board, encouraged residents to learn as much about the project as possible because it would affect every village property.

“We’re putting out something that will last a long time,” he said.

Mr. Gibson said he was excited that the new rules would avoid having short barriers for gardens in the historic district listed as fences that would need Planning Board approval.

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