New committee set to review zoning

GLOVERSVILLE — Members of the Common Council on Jan. 14 agreed to serve on a new committee that will review the locations of the city’s zoning districts and propose updates to the zoning map.

Mayor Vincent DeSantis in November broached the subject of forming a zoning review committee with the council following a meeting of the Local Waterfront Revitalization Program plan steering committee with Lisa Nagle, principal of Elan Planning, Design and Landscape Architecture of Saratoga Springs.

The Common Council awarded a contract for planning services to Elan to develop an LWRP for the areas surrounding the Cayadutta Creek after the city received a $78,000 grant award from the state Department of State through Round VIII of the Regional Economic Development Council initiative in December 2018 to cover 75 percent of the cost.

An LWRP is a land and water use plan that identifies long term uses and implementation strategies. LWRPs are subject to approval by the state Department of State that once secured will allow the city to apply for up to 50 percent grant funding for identified projects related to redevelopment of the waterfront and surrounding spaces.

The LWRP is being developed through a study that includes property surveys, planning, land use analysis, redevelopment analysis and a series of maps identifying what is included in the district, ownership, conditions and property boundaries.

While working on the study, Nagle questioned whether the location of some manufacturing zones within the city proper were appropriate within the context of the city’s plans for redevelopment.

In particular, DeSantis said Nagle was puzzled by the location of a district zoned manufacturing near the heart of the city along one square block at Frontage Road, Church Street, Bleecker Street and Spring Street. The planner suggested mixed-use zones that blend together residential and commercial uses that are becoming increasingly common in urban planning as potentially more in line with the city’s vision.

Often mixed-use zones encourage the development of multi-story buildings with commercial uses on the ground floor and residential uses on the upper stories. Some forms of light manufacturing may be allowed in mixed-use zones.

During the first regular meeting of the Common Council of the year on Tuesday, DeSantis requested that a zoning review committee be formed to reassess the city’s current zoning map that was last updated in 2016 to recommend revisions to the full council later this year.

At DeSantis’ request, 3rd Ward Councilwoman Elizabeth “Betsy” Batchelor, 4th Ward Councilwoman Ellen Anadio and 6th Ward Councilman Wrandy Siarkowski each agreed to serve on the new zoning review committee.