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Marilla Board approves changes in development regulations

The Marilla Town Board on Thursday night adopted a law that changes regulations for development in the town's only business zone at the intersection of Two Rod Road and Clinton Street.

The law increases lot sizes to a minimum of 60,000 square feet with a setback of 100 feet, down from 200 feet. The new lot-size minimum is designed to give builders a choice of lot shapes to eliminate strip plazas, which planners are trying to discourage.

The changes will impact Marilla resident Richard Rohl, the owner of a site at Clinton and Two Rod, who wants to subdivide his parcel into 18 building lots to develop a business subdivision.

The board voted to embrace the changes after a public hearing.

In other matters, Councilman Fred Specht told Disaster Coordinator George Gert, "You have your work cut out for you" after pointing out that new federal regulations call for the town to have an evacuation plan for animals. Specht said at last count, Marilla has 958 cows, 109 cattle, 341 heifers, 63 pigs, 47 horses, 300 chickens, 23 goats, 32 alpacas, 690 dogs and too many cats too count.
The board also:

* Approved a $5,000 donation to the Friends of Marilla Playground Committee, which is building a metal playground next to Marilla Primary School. The committee still needs additional funding but has raised $100,000.

* Displayed a plaque honoring James Handy, the former supervisor and longtime Marilla resident. The board meeting room will now be called the James R. Handy Room.
* Awarded a contract for a 2008 $1.5 million bond-anticipation note to First Niagara Bank.

* Scheduled a public hearing for 7:30 p.m. May 10 in Town Hall on a proposal to add 81 acres owned by the Foss brothers to the town's agriculture preservation program.

* Approved a new agreement with Independent Health as the town's health insurer. It reflects a 17 percent increase in cost.

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