With a population of only 30,000 within a 10-minute drive to the commercial zone, a retail
shopping center (total square footage of center, not one retail store), must be limited to the size of a
neighborhood center and therefore capped at 100,000 sq. ft. The population would need to increase by
another 10,000 people (40,000 total) in our area before New Scotland would be able to support even a
small, community-sized shopping center of more than 100,000 sq. ft. Any new shopping center beyond
100,000 sq.ft. will not be viable nor in conformance with the Comprehensive Plan. Individual retail
buildings should be capped at 50,000 sq.ft. This will prevent regionally drawing general merchandise
stores, but still permit a viable grocery store to be developed.
Accordingly, the zoning law should be amended to prohibit retail development on a scale in
excess of those parameters set forth above.
F. Existing Zoning Law
The existing zoning law has no restrictions regarding the size of commercial development in the
Town. Additionally, existing bulk and area requirements for the Commercial Zoning District allow dense
development with only 10% permeable open or “green” space. Existing laws would permit a landowner
to develop a regional shopping center (in excess of 500,000 sq. ft.) on as little as 50 acres. To support
the high volume of shopper traffic during the holiday (Christmas) shopping season, such a retail project
would translate to thousands of parking spaces. This would require 2,500 parking spaces and total
impervious coverage that could exceed the 50 acres in this example.
Although members of the community expressed concern that even a 50,000 sq. ft. store was too
big, a 50,000 sq. ft. retail store cap would provide flexibility to accommodate a viable grocery store. A
100,000 sq. ft. cap on total retail shopping center per parcel would prevent the development of Page | 12