Zon­ing board not ready to rule on Ir­ish cen­ter

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - LOCAL NEWS - By Wil­liam J. Kem­ble news@free­manon­line.com

The city Zon­ing Board of Ap­peals will wait for sur­vey in­for­ma­tion about prop­erty ad­ja­cent to the pro­posed Ir­ish Cul­tural Cen­ter site be­fore de­cid­ing whether a zon­ing de­ter­mi­na­tion sup­port­ing the project is cor­rect.

The is­sue was tabled dur­ing a meet­ing Tues­day at which the board met for 10 min­utes be­hind closed doors with city As­sis­tant Cor­po­ra­tion Coun­cil Daniel Garten­stein be­fore agree­ing to de­lay a de­ci­sion.

“We, as a board, have not yet re­ceived all the in­for­ma­tion we re­quested from out­side,” said board Chair­man James Rod­den.

Op­po­nents of the project are chal­leng­ing an opin­ion by city Build­ing In­spec­tor Joseph Stafford that the site at 32 Abeel St. is prop­erly zon­ing for the Ir­ish Cul­tural Cen­ter be­cause, in his opin­ion, it fronts a sec­tion of the “RT Dis­trict” that al­lows com­mer­cial use of prop­er­ties.

“The ICC prop­erty has frontage along the West Strand right-of-way,” he said. “It’s one dis­trict, two dif­fer­ent sec­tions of the same dis­trict. The RT is the ac­tual dis­trict, and in that dis­trict it lays out a spe­cific sec­tion that’s de­signed for com­mer­cial and res­i­den­tial or com­mer­cial and light in­dus­trial.”

The Ir­ish Cul­tural Cen­ter de­vel­op­ers pur­chased four parcels that have been com­bined into a sin­gle par­cel to make up the project site. Of the four parcels, only one had frontage to the cor­rect zon­ing des­ig­na­tion, with that par­cel qual­i­fy­ing for the des­ig­na­tion be­cause it had a rightof-way from an abut­ting prop­erty that is ap­pro­pri­ately zoned. In­di­vid­u­ally, none of the parcels would have been large enough to be ap­proved for any build­ing, of­fi­cials have said.

“The way it’s de­scribed [in the law] is frontage in that area,” Stafford said. “So if you have a par­cel that fronts on what they call the al­low­able area, then your par­cel is in that al­low­able area.”

City Build­ing Safety Di­vi­sion Deputy Chief Thomas Tiano said the zon­ing board is wait­ing for an in­de­pen­dent re­view of records from 1935 and 1982 to de­ter­mine what con­di­tions were placed on prop­erty to the south of the pro­posed cen­ter.

At­tor­ney War­ren Re­plan­sky, who is rep­re­sent­ing neigh­bors of the site, last month told the board that maps al­ready show that the pro­posed cen­ter would not have any frontage to the cor­rect dis­trict.

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