Town Board fine-tun­ing pro­posed halt to Route 299 de­vel­op­ment

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - BUSINESS - By Wil­liam J. Kem­ble news@free­manon­

Town Board mem­bers will con­sider fine­tun­ing a pro­posed tem­po­rary ban on de­vel­op­ment along a sec­tion of state Route 299 east of the vil­lage.

The ses­sion is set for 7:30 p.m. at the com­mu­nity cen­ter on Vet­er­ans Drive.

“We’re go­ing to try to change some of the lan­guage in the (mora­to­rium) that would al­low cur­rent oc­cu­pancy of ex­ist­ing build­ings with per­mit­ted use,” Su­per­vi­sor Neil Bet­tez said. “We’re not try­ing to stop all ac­tiv­ity. If you have a build­ing and redo the build­ing and you are do­ing the same (use), we’re not try­ing to stop that.”

Word­ing of the mora­to­rium is be­ing dis­cussed a week ahead of a sched­uled Oct. 20 pub­lic hear­ing on the pro­posed nine-month ban. Un­der the pro­posed mora­to­rium, about 25 parcels would be in­cluded along a “gate­way” area cov­er­ing slightly more than one mile of state Route 299 go­ing east from the Sho­prite Plaza. The mora­to­rium is be­ing pro­posed in the wake of a con­tro­ver­sial ap­pli­ca­tion to construct a CVS pharmacy and Five Guys Burger and Fries restau­rant at the in­ter­sec­tion of state Route 299 and North Putt Cor­ners Road.

A mora­to­rium would give the town time to re­vise the town’s com­pre­hen­sive plan for that area and ad­just town code zon­ing reg­u­la­tions gov­ern­ing de­vel­op­ment ac­cord­ingly. Bet­tez said of­fi­cials ex­pect the mora­to­rium would halt reviews of all site plan ap­pli­ca­tions that have raised con­cern by res­i­dents who op­posed de­vel­op­ment in the gate­way area.

Un­der the pro­posed mora­to­rium, town of­fi­cials would not be able to re­view any site plan, spe­cial per­mit ap­pli­ca­tion, area vari­ance, use vari­ance or sub­di­vi­sion ex­cept for res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ments of five units or less and non­res­i­den­tial struc­tures of 2,500 square feet or less.

In a report by an ad hoc com­mit­tee, of­fi­cials were told that much of the pro­posed de­vel­oped in the gate­way area had not been an­tic­i­pated in the town’s 1996 com­pre­hen­sive plan.

“While there are in­di­vid­ual ex­am­ples of re­cent pos­i­tive de­vel­op­ment due to the com­mu­nity-mind­ed­ness of key busi­nesses like Ul­ster Sav­ings Bank and the Hamp­ton Inn, our town’s codes have no re­quire­ments to en­sure that this type of co­or­di­na­tion and de­sign in­put oc­cur,” they wrote.

“This area is the pri­mary gate­way to our com­mu­nity,” com­mit­tee mem­ber said. “Vir­tu­ally all of us who live, work/com­mute, go to school and visit New Paltz rou­tinely nav­i­gate the Route 299 cor­ri­dor from Ohioville to Putt Cor­ners. Sim­ply put, how this part of our com­mu­nity de­vel­ops af­fects us all.”

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