Controversial projects on Planning Board’s agenda
Review of the proposed Irish Cultural Center and a West Chestnut Street boarding house will continue this month.
City planners will continue their review of two controversial projects later this month.
According to the Planning Board agenda for Tuesday, Jan. 22, the proposed Irish Cultural Center and a boarding house on West Chestnut Street are to receive scrutiny at the board’s monthly meeting, which starts at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 420 Broadway.
In October, the Kingston Zoning Board of Appeals voted unanimously to issue a variance to Joseph Sangi to operate the boarding house at 106 W. Chestnut St. The variance cleared the the way for the boarding house use, even though the house is in a single-family residential zoning district.
Under the City Code, boarding houses are permitted only in two-family residential districts and with a special-use permit from the Planning Board.
The zoning board’s resolution allows the Planning Board, in the course of its site plan review of the project, to provide waivers, if it sees fit, to any of the strict requirements for a boarding house in a two-family residential district.
Those requirements, in part, limit the number of boarders to 12 and the number of rooms to 10, and prohibit more than two people from sharing a room. The code also states that all boarding houses are subject to inspections at reasonable hours by authorized representatives of the city.
There also is a requirement that the manager of a boarding house keep a register of all the boarders’ names and room numbers and provide that information to police, fire officials and city building safety officers on request.
The zoning board’s decision also stipulated that permission for the West Chestnut Street building to be operated as a “boutique hotel” could not be granted because it did not meet the requirements for such use.
In the other matter, the Kingston Planning Board has referred plans for the proposed Irish Cultural Center on Abeel Street to the Ulster County Planning Board for its recommendation, according to the city Planning Office.
The Kingston Planning Board referred the Irish Cultural Center plan to the county board on Dec. 17, 2018.
The proposal is undergoing a second review because its original site plan approval expired without the developer securing a building permit.
Excavation at the halfacre site, which overlooks the Rondout Creek, began earlier this year, and neighbors complained the work was causing excessive noise and damage to surrounding properties, including the city-owned Company Hill Path.
The planned site for the center, at 32 Abeel St., has private homes on either side.
In August, the developer was cited by the city engineer for violations at the site, but those violations have been corrected since, according to city officials.
In response to complaints about the excavation, the Common Council adopted changes to the City Code intended to provide more oversight and regulation of such work when it takes place on private property.
The proposed 16,213-square-foot Irish Cultural Center is to include a 171-seat theater on its ground floor, which would be built into the hillside facing West Strand and Company Hill Path; and a restaurant with a pub space, among other amenities.