By LEVI PASCHER
GLOVERSVILLE - The nine-month moratorium on multiple-family dwellings in residential districts will expire in less than two weeks, and city officials say they won't extend the moratorium but instead work on a more permanent solution.
Members of the Common Council listen to a speaker at the meeting on Tuesday night. (The Leader-Herald/Levi Pascher)
City Attorney Anthony Casale previously told the city council the Blight Committee is proposing an option. The moratorium expires June 26.
"The moratorium ... will not be changed or extended in any way," Casale said.
However, he said the city could modify the zoning law to cap new multiple-family dwellings to a maximum of four units in residential areas, which would eliminate the need for a time-limited moratorium.
The moratorium prohibits new 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.
Mayor Dayton King previously said city residents have told him they don't want more projects like the Kinderhook affordable-housing project recently built in the north end of the city.
Second Ward Councilman Arthur Simonds said city officials have taken 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.
Casale said the changes will be introduced at the next meeting and would have to be reviewed by the county and city planning boards.
Casale said there would need to be a public hearing on the changes, but he expects the changes could be finalized by the meetings in July.
In another city council matter this week, former City Court Judge Vincent DeSantis was approved by the Common Council to expand the community garden on Fremont Street through the Gloversville Housing and Neighborhood Improvement Corp.
The garden is on the west side of Fremont Street and south of the intersection of Fremont and Forest streets.
The not-for-profit group will lease the property from the city for four years at $1 per year.
DeSantis said the garden - which will mark its fourth growing season this summer - has become more successful as more families in the area have gotten involved.
DeSantis said he would look to repair the existing fence on the street side and build a "more aesthetically pleasing" fence along the sidewalk line.
DeSantis told the council he would like to divide the southern half of the expanded garden into 12 individual plots so each family could have its own portion of the garden.
He said those plots would be open to anyone who would like a portion of the garden, although it would be more of a convenience for the people in that area.
He said the northern side of the garden would be used for production agriculture.
The group will plant row crops as a small production farming operation with the intention of marketing locally grown produce to the public to raise community awareness of both nutritional and ecological issues, the council resolution states.
DeSantis said he would be selling the crops at the Farmer's Market Pavilion. The money from the additional crops would be used for maintaining and repairing the garden, he said.
DeSantis said having a community garden forms social bonds in the neighborhood. He said that part of the city could use some "social cohesiveness."
He said the expansion would not cost the city anything.
King this week also appointed Christine Benson and Natalie Sgambato to the Recreation Commission.
Both members' terms will end Dec. 31.