Any Town Board action to establish a new rural commercial zone on Shawnee Road will have to wait a week or more for a state environmental quality review to be completed.
Town Attorney Robert O'Toole said the board would have to put off any decisions until all the concerns are in from interested parties on the plan to create a rural neighborhood business district on the busy road and to incorporate the district into the town's comprehensive master plan.
The proposal is intended to help answer some concerns regarding a teahouse that has been doing business at 6610 Shawnee Road.
A neighborhood business district would permit limited commercial use in the existing commercial pockets on Shawnee, such as home-based operations, farmers' markets, antique stores, small specialty shops and agriculture businesses, among other uses. However, it would prohibit larger commercial ventures such as big-box stores, supermarkets and car lots, town officials said.
Operators of the White Linen Tea House found themselves under fire in June, when they sought a zoning change to continue serving tea. The business had been closed by the building inspector following a number of code violations.
On the same parcel, the operators also run an antique barn cooperative, which is open under a special permit.
A public hearing on the proposal was conducted July 16 but did not draw much response, O'Toole said. Concerns regarding parking, traffic and garbage had been raised at two previous meetings.
No further hearings are needed, O'Toole said.
Once the review materials are collected, the board will be able to address any issue and create the district. It would be incorporated into the master plan, the town's guide for development.
The business owners would then submit a site plan for review and apply to reopen the teahouse, O'Toole explained.
He said he expected the issue could be addressed again next month.