GLOVERSVILLE - The Common Council unanimously passed a nine-month moratorium Tuesday on multiple-family dwellings in residential districts.
Mayor Dayton King previously said the city already has an overabundance of two-family homes and other housing units, so similar new housing is not needed in residential areas.
The mayor also said it's unnecessary to start construction of new housing in residential areas when existing buildings could be renovated.
The Gloversville Common Council passed both resolutions on Tuesday to increase the water turn-on fee and start the nine-month moratorium on multiple-unit dwellings.
The Leader-Herald/Levi Pascher
The moratorium will prevent multiple-family dwellings in residential districts, but the city still can allow new apartments on the second or third floors of businesses in the downtown area.
The mayor said he will listen to investors during the moratorium about housing ideas, which could move forward after the city lifts the moratorium.
King said city residents have told him they don't want to see projects like the Kinderhook affordable-housing project now under way in the north end of the city.
Second Ward Councilman Arthur Simonds said city officials will take the time during the moratorium to review and possibly change some of the zoning codes to improve the quality of life in Gloversville and reduce the problem of blight.
"We are looking to prevent blight from occurring when people move into this new housing available down the road," said Simonds.
The council had tabled the proposed moratorium in September after learning the city Planning Board had 30 days to recommend approval, denial or make other recommendations.
Because the Planning Board took no action before the 30 days was up, the council could approve the law, said City Attorney Anthony Casale.
The moratorium will take effect once it's filed, which may happen today, King said.
"I would have liked to have this on the books a couple of years ago, but there are only certain things we can control," King said.
The law comes while the controversial Kinderhook project is under construction on a hill above Lee Avenue and Northern Terrace. King said the moratorium will have no effect on the Kinderhook project.
He said he is concerned the Kinderhook project may attract 48 families from other rental properties, leaving existing landlords with no tenants. He said 48 new families won't necessarily move into the city to fill vacant apartments owned by private landlords.
"People need inexpensive housing, but we already have that here in the city," said King. "We don't want nonprofit housing to take away from landlords that are really just trying to stay afloat."
In other city business, the council approved an increase in the water reconnection fee to $75.
On Aug. 28, the council passed a resolution to increase the fee from $40 to $65. However, the council learned the city Water Department wanted a higher fee.
The council conducted a public hearing on the increase Tuesday. No one from the public spoke.
The fee is charged when water is reconnected after being shut off for non-payment of water bills.
The money from the turn-on fee will go to the Water Department, said department Superintendent Christopher Satterlee.
He said the increase in the fee will cover payroll costs to have employees turn the water back on at people's houses.
Levi Pascher covers Gloversville news. He can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.