Changes to Canton zoning up for public comment

A view looking east into downtown Canton. Christopher Lenney/Watertown Daily Times

CANTON — The village Board of Trustees will hold a public hearing on Dec. 14, to hear comment on three items.

The hearing will be held in the basement courtroom at the Municipal Building, 60 Main St. The hearing will also be available on Zoom. A link to the Zoom hearing is posted to the municipal website,

The public hearing will be held to hear comments regarding changes to zoning regulations, subdivision law changes and a State Environmental Quality Review.

At its last meeting, Nov. 17, the board made final adjustments to the code after hearing recommendations from the Village Planning Board and the St. Lawrence County Planning Office.

The board’s regular monthly December meeting will be held the day following the public hearings, Nov. 15, when a vote could bring an end to the process that began more than two years ago. Although, the board has, by law, 62 days to act after the public hearings, according to village attorney Gerald J. Ducharme.

Canton officials have been working with Monica Ryan, principal planner for the Troy-based River Street Planning & Development, to review and rework town and village zoning codes. The process began after the October 2019 adoption of Canton’s Comprehensive Plan, a vision and framework for the community’s current and future infrastructure needs.

The stated purpose of the zoning rewrite is “Strengthening Canton’s proud identity as the hub of St. Lawrence County by enhancing waterfront resources while supporting downtown reinvestment. Ensure that Canton’s accessible downtown promotes a vibrant, active community for residents and visitors of all ages and income levels. Building on opportunities for recreation, agriculture, heritage-based tourism, the arts, and Canton’s educational institutions.”

The code also aims to expand support for local businesses, create a cultural and economic center through infrastructure and technology and enhance housing options.

The codes also will be consistent with the village’s Complete Streets policies to support a transportation system that is safe, convenient and accessible for all, promoting “walkable downtowns, diverse transit options, and bicycle-friendly streets.”

People who attend the hearing in person will be asked to wear masks and maintain safe physical distance.

Public comments may also be submitted by email addressed to Mayor Michael E. Dalton at, or by regular mail addressed to the mayor at 60 Main St., Canton, New York 13617, to be received by 4 p.m. Dec. 14. Those comments will be made part of the record during the public hearing.

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