Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Newburgh Town Board Rejects High-Density Housing in Coldenham

The Newburgh Town Board rejected a proposal to change the zoning on Route 17K in Coldenham due to a lack of local support, Town Supervisor Gil Piaquadio announced today.

From time to time, zoning changes are received by the Town Board rather than the Zoning Board. In this case, owners of vacant commercial properties on Route 17K, along with potential commercial developers, informally approached the Town Board. The owners inquired about rezoning their properties to allow for mixed use, including high-density residential housing and warehouse development. The Town Board has not looked favorably upon those requests, Piaquadio explained.

In reviewing one of those requests, the Town Board decided to consider allowing a mixed use on sites containing at least 10 acres of land along Route 17K, in accordance with the Town’s Comprehensive Plan. The mixed use would consist of some retail stores, offices, personal services, and low-density housing. This mixed use would be authorized as a zoning district overlay, which would not change the underlying zone. The Town’s Planning Board would have to review and approved the proposed site development plan before it comes to fruition.

At least two informational public hearings were held regarding specific site development and parkland donations. The property owners mailed invitations to nearby property owners and virtual meetings were held. The Newburgh Town Board also held a public hearing about the entire overlay proposal last month, which was highly attended.

After listening to public comments, Piaquadio said the Town Board members feel there is not enough local support for this zoning overlay to move forward. Therefore, the zoning will remain the same as it has been.

The last change to the zoning overlay came in 2009 when the Town Board rezoned over 2,300 acres to R-1 Residential (one home per “builder’s acre”). The reason for the 2009 change was to preserve the character of existing neighborhoods, the absence of a north-south highway, reducing the growth of the Valley Central School District, reducing traffic impacts on Route 17K, and reducing friction between residential and commercial developers. The change was adopted successfully despite court challenges.

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