By Barry Merrill
Most of the zoning regulations for Calypso were drawn up 30 years ago, but potential growth from the development of I-795 has the planning board scrambling to make sure that growth is directed in the town’s long-term best interest.
Planning Board Chairman Roger Davis made a detailed presentation on establishing a formal business district for the town during last Monday night’s regular monthly meeting of the Calypso Town Board.
At the end of the meeting, the board agreed to hold a public hearing on the proposed town budget June 4, but opted not to schedule a second hearing that night. Presumably the hearing on the district could be held the next month.
Under the present zoning, some of the areas where businesses exist have had residences, often mobile homes, on adjacent lots. While all are gone now, nothing prevents someone from putting a mobile home back in those areas.
Roughly, the district begins on the northwest side of the railroad track, taking in Pro-Med and the fire department, running down Trade St. to US 117, out 117 and turning north and south along the east side of what will be I-795.
Mr. Davis said his board had spent a lot of time developing the business district. He said while there were a number of areas where residences would be prohibited where they now are permitted, no residences are currently in the proposed zone.
After a 15 minute presentation, Commissioner Bill Rose said this was a lot for him to digest, and he asked that the town board not move on the planning board’s request to hold a public hearing. Commissioner David Tyndall agreed.
Commissioner Debbie Jones, who has been serving on the planning board, agreed with the request to go forward with the hearing, saying that is when the board would get the positive and negative feedback they would need in order to make a decision.
Mr. Davis reiterated that nothing would stop someone tomorrow from working against the intent of the establishment of the business district.
Mrs. Jones emphatically endorsed the new zone. “I am gung-ho on the business district.”
With Commissioner Cynthia Reynolds supporting moving forward, and Commissioner Larry Cashwell absent at that time, a vote to table the issue was tied, 2-2. Mayor Rubylene Lambert broke the tie saying, “I’m voting with the girls this time.”
After the meeting, Mr. Davis emphasized that the whole idea of a business district only came up as board candidates were asking for votes, and the planning board was responding to the board and public request.