by Terry Duffy
Amended zoning and green space were newsmakers at an otherwise routine Lewiston Town Board regular meeting late last month at Town Hall.
At a leadoff public hearing on Nov. 26, representatives of Wendel Duchscherer Architects and Engineers PC briefed the board and a handful of residents on a number of changes to the zoning plan that have taken place over the past one to two years. "The town has been going through the process of updating, updating the comprehensive plan and zoning over 2010 and 2011," said Wendel rep Andrew Reilly. "We worked on the comp plan update and modernized the procedural system." Reilly said the town's procedural system on zoning was "very outdated" and needed to conform to new state guidelines.
He also said Wendel has been working on a new zoning map and zoning districts. Notable changes are in classification, with Traditional Neighborhood Districts formed for the Buffalo Street area in Sanborn and an area on Townline at Upper Mountain roads; a number of existing zoning districts eliminated and replaced by R-1 (one family), and R-2 (two family residential), mostly in the town's western areas north of the village; an increased zoning to rural residential and rural residential transition; restructured business districts; and modifications to the industrial classifications in the Model City and LOOW site areas.
Town Supervisor Steve Reiter commented the zoning would enable the town to better pursue new development in northern areas of the town, namely vacant areas found on the west side of the Lewiston-Porter School District campus on Creek Road.
The public hearing itself saw few comments and remained open to enable Town Building and Zoning Inspector Tim Masters to complete zoning enforcement provisions and other updates. The zoning amendments and code are available for review online at www.wd-gis.com/lewiston/.
Other news from the session involved discussions about Legacy Drive and green space in the Lewistowne subdivision. Town Attorney Mike Dowd updated the board on Legacy Drive, saying the matter remained open as the property's owners had been apprised on town demolition and seizure concerns and their responses were still awaited.
On the green space, Reiter said the board had determined it would be in the best interests of the town to sell the green space parcel in question, located at the rear of 711 Powell Lane, to Jay Coppins and any interested neighbors as the land was seen as a liability to the town. On a resolution by Councilman Mike Marra the property was declared surplus and would be sold to Coppins at a town established assessed value of $2,000 per acre. Actual cost would be determined by the size of the land that was said to be less than an acre in size.
The measure approving the sale passed with stipulations that it would be subject to a permissive referendum filed within 30 days by any residents opposing the sale. According to Dowd that measure would require action in the form of a petition signed by 5 percent of the town's voting residents. The motion to sell the green space was approved unanimously.
In other news, Reiter and the board were upbeat on the town's ice rink that opened for use last Friday. A resolution recognizing the donors for rink operations was approved for presentation at last week's grand opening. And Reiter extended praise to Town Recreation Director Mike Dashineau at the Nov. 26 meeting for his efforts thus far to bring the rink into operation. "It's bigger, better. I'm pleased with all the work Dashineau did," said Reiter. "It speaks highly for the town."