“We had talked about doing the overlay for the corridor ... creating a mechanism to allow flexibility on all the properties that line the tail-trail for ancillary businesses that could potentially support user traffic,” said board consultant Charles Voss of Barton & Loguidice.
Overlay zones modify the parameters set by standard zones, providing for (or prohibiting) additional uses. The rail-trail overlay zone could allow small-scale commercial operations to set up along designated portions of the trail regardless of the underlying zoning.
Town officials anticipate growth in trail traffic after October 2, when Rail Trail East — a 1.25-mile extension from Commercial Avenue to the Walkway Over the Hudson — will open to runners, walkers and cyclists. A Rail Trail West segment to extend the paved pathway to New Paltz is already in the design phase.
“The next link is really linking into New Paltz now, and that’s going to happen very quickly,” said Voss. “You guys are staged perfectly right in the middle of this to maybe take advantage of ... flexible zoning techniques to help you capture that foot and bicycle traffic,” said Voss.
The board should consider design standards to maintain the integrity of existing structures, rules to appropriately scale businesses to commercial use and location and size of the overlay zone, he advised.
Dominick Martorana said that the overlay zone should not necessarily encompass the entirety of the trail. “[It should] not necessarily [be] the whole rail-trail, just pockets. There are some sections that are purely residential,” said Martorana.
A series of meetings between the town board, planning board and zoning board of appeals was proposed. “In my opinion, you maintain as much flexibility of use as well as a good continuity of design standards,” said Martorana.
Chairman Scott Saso advised the members of the planning board to review copies of a presentation by Voss and to begin identifying properties for inclusion in the overlay zone. “I’m a firm believer in getting it off the paper and started,” said Saso. “Why don’t we first identify what properties we’re talking about? ... We’re going to have a fairly light agenda for the next few months. [This is] a good time to do it.”
Under new business, the board tackled addressed a request by 29 Church Street owner Dan Frampton to add one handicapped parking spot to the downtown business district property to accommodate a new tenant: endocrinologist Dr. Robert Ortiz.
“It’s really to satisfy the needs of a professional service being there,” said Frampton.
The proposed parking spot is currently a lawn. Former parking spaces were removed years ago at request of the planning board, said Ben Bragg.
Saso said the board would have to research the zoning-code requirements for parking.
“You always have the ability to waive parking requirements when there’s municipal parking available,” said building inspector Dave Barton.
The board discussed the possibility of substituting a pull-in area, via mountable curb, in lieu of a formal parking space. The discussion will continue at a future meeting.
The board reviewed a lot-line revision for lands of Pani at 99 South Street in the agricultural zone. The revision would consolidate two residential lots — a 6.67-acre lot with an existing residence and a seven-acre lot — to allow owners to build a deck that would otherwise encroach upon the vacant lot. An October 21 public hearing will be at next week’s regular meeting.
The board reviewed a special use permit for lands of Shaffer-Adams at the corner of Upper Grand and New Paltz roads on 2.18 acres in the R-1 zone. The owners plan to add a two-car garage with a second dwelling unit above it; the size exceeds the accessory apartment designation, said Barton. The special use permit would be for a two-family residence, a permitted use in the zone.
Saso said the plan would be sent immediately to the county planning board for review.
“If everything looks good, we can hopefully set the public hearing for October,” said Saso.