By Dan Hust
HORTONVILLE Major additions and minor changes are coming to the Town of Delaware’s zoning code.
The public is invited to hear what those changes will be and ask questions about them tomorrow (Wednesday) at 7:45 p.m. at the town hall in Hortonville.
Planning Board Chairman Jerry Euker said his board spent more than a year creating these seven pages of proposed changes to Delaware’s zoning spurred particularly by the burgeoning renewable energy movement.
“We had no regulations for solar or wind,” he noted.
Thus those regulations occupy much of the proposal, which can be viewed at www.townofdelaware-ny.us. (Click on “Zoning Amendments” on the left side of the screen. The related “Zoning Map Changes” link is also there.)
Tomorrow’s info meeting may result in changes to the document, depending on public comments, said Euker.
Once finalized, it will be sent on to the town board, which can change it further or proceed with it. If they choose the latter, a public hearing will be set, followed by a vote to adopt.
Here are some of the highlights of the proposal:
• Wind, solar and geothermal energy systems get their own sections in the code.
Though each system has a specific set of rules, generally they are to be considered accessory uses (if producing less than 100 kilowatts), permissible in all zones.
However, they must be more than 10 feet away from any property line, unless underground (as in the case of geothermal). Building permits will be required to install such systems.
• Natural gas processing plants will not be permitted anywhere in Delaware, whereas natural gas compressor stations will be allowed as special uses solely in the Callicoon Business District and the Rural District.
Compressor buildings must be 500 feet away from property lines and 1,000 feet distant from residences, and must be designed to blend in with the surroundings.
• For uses in districts bordering the Delaware River, the Planning Board will be required to “take into consideration the effect of the proposed use on the UDSRR [Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River] and shall attach any and all conditions of approval necessary to provide protection to the UDSRR from impacts of development.”
Such conditions could include setbacks, buffers, landscaping, fencing and more restrictive lot coverage and building height limits.
• Rules pertaining to swimming pools, noise levels and antennas have been revised.
• Sawmills have been deleted from the list of permitted special uses in the Callicoon Business and Delaware River districts, while crematoriums have been similarly deleted from the Business and Callicoon Business districts.
Insurance offices, print shops, professional offices and real estate offices, on the other hand, have been moved from special uses to being principal permitted uses in the Rural District.
Multi-family dwellings and projects are being listed as permitted special uses in the Rural District.