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Solarize Tonawanda will energize development in the town

The Town of Tonawanda plans to use a $150,000 grant to update its zoning laws.

The town received the grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Association after completing a successful Solarize Tonawanda campaign to encourage solar energy installations and other green initiatives in the town.

On Monday, the Town Board announced plans to use the funds to overhaul its zoning laws to make them user-friendly for developers.

Planning and Development Director James Hartz said the process could take up to three years and will include public outreach and traffic studies.

"Right now it's just a mishmosh," Hartz said of the codes that he said have been updated in a piecemeal fashion since the 1940s.

"The (zoning) code has to be simpler for people to understand," Councilman William Conrad said, "That will lead to more development."

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