GLOVERSVILLE - The proposed zoning changes to an entire city block and the former Pan-Am site moved a step closer to being finalized after the county Planning Board gave its approval Tuesday.
The proposed zoning changes were delayed at the Common Council meeting last week when City Attorney Anthony Casale told DPW Director Kevin Jones and the council that zoning changes also have to receive recommendations from the city and county Planning Department before they can be finalized.
As a result, the Common Council only formally submitted the SEQR request for both zoning changes and decided to table the actual zoning change for the next meeting Tuesday.
However, the Fulton County Planning Board on Tuesday recommended the council rezone the former Pan-American Tannery property on West Fulton Street from a residential to manufacturing classification.
The motion, approved by the board at the Fort Johnstown Annex, stated that action would lead to quicker cleanup, and if the site is cleaned up, it will have "positive implications" for that area.
"It has been an ongoing cleanup effort on that property for a while," said county Senior Planner Sean Geraghty.
He said the city has been working with the state Department of Environmental Conservation and the state Department of Health to make the site available for new development.
The council is proposing an amendment to rezone the former tannery at 312 W. Fulton St. from its current residential classification to a manufacturing classification.
Geraghty said the property is about 4.8 acres. It was originally zoned as a manufacturing site but was changed to a residential classification in 2002.
He said it would be cost-prohibitive for the city to try to bring the property up to the residential standards set by the state, so the city is only trying to clean up the area to "commercial standards."
Board member James Anderson said the city has about a year to bring the site up to commercial standards.
The city Planning Board will have a special meeting at City Hall on Thursday at 6 p.m. to discuss and make recommendations to the council concerning the rezoning of the Pan-Am site, and the separate rezoning of six parcels within the city block.
Jones said the zoning changes must be complete for the Pan-Am property by March 31, otherwise the DEC will not take any further action to complete the study until next year.
The county Planning Board also remained neutral and saw no regional impact for the planned zoning changes for six parcels.
The possible zoning change would include a total of six properties including 8 Frontage Road, 49 Spring St., 83 Bleecker St., 40 Church St., 30 Church St. and 52 Church St.
A city resident wants to turn a building on Spring Street into a primary residence, but it is zoned for manufacturing.
Because the city cannot have "spot zoning," the council would have to change the zoning for the entire block.