City sets hearing on multiple-family homes

GLOVERSVILLE – The Common Council will conduct a public hearing Tuesday on a proposed changed to the city code regarding the number of units allowed in new multiple-family dwellings.

A nine-month moratorium on new multiple-family dwellings being built in residential districts expired in June.

City officials said rather than extend the moratorium, they were considering the proposed local law – presented at the last meeting – which would provide a more permanent solution.

“The Common Council believes that it is in the best interests of the city for new multiple-family dwellings to have no more than four dwelling units for buildings within [residential areas],” the proposed law says.

City Attorney Anthony Casale previously told the council the Blight Committee was proposing such a change in the city’s zoning law. The changes have to be reviewed by the county and city planning boards.

The moratorium prohibited new multiple-family dwellings in residential districts, but the city still can allow new apartments on the second or third floors of businesses in the downtown area.

Mayor Dayton King previously said city residents have told him they don’t want more projects like the new 48-unit Overlook Ridge Apartments recently built by Kinderhook Development near Northern Terrace and Lee Avenue.

Garage sale weekend

Also Tuesday, King is scheduled to discuss a number of items including a change of dates for the citywide garage sale in 2014.

King said Friday a number of residents have been expressing concerns that the garage sale weekend should not coincide with the Fourth of July weekend.

“I would like to propose it to be closer to when kids go back to school; this way people can sell some unwanted items and have some money for back-to-school shopping,” King said.

Traffic light repair

Also Tuesday, the mayor is scheduled to discuss the traffic light repair on Second Avenue.

Department of Public Works Director Kevin Jones announced during the last council meeting the city’s insurance will cover the damage done to the traffic light at the intersection of Kingsboro and Second avenues.

A tree fell in early June and disabled a traffic light at the intersection, resulting in two stop signs being installed on Second Avenue.

Jones said the city will have to pay a $500 deductible, while the insurance company will cover the rest of the cost to replace a new metal pole and string the cables, which has been estimated at about $100,000.

Jones said the lights and controller are fairly new so the city would be able to continue using them.

King also wants to discuss whether the city should look into changing the location where children cross after school to Prospect Avenue or hire a crossing guard during the school year, so the city could save the money from the insurance payment for other uses.

“I just want to have an open discussion with the council to get their thoughts on that,” King said.

The mayor is also on the agenda to discuss the downtown grant application previously proposed by the county.

At the last council meeting, city officials said it may be better for the city to apply for the Brownfield Opportunity Area grant program on its own rather than together with the city of Johnstown.

DPW?Director Jones said since this program can be used on all properties with environmental hazards, not just ones on Main Street, if the city applied on its own, it could use some of the money on troubled areas such as the old Pan Am tannery site.

Jones said consultants have been telling him this may be the last year the grant will be funded.

He said the grant typically has three phases, with the first being pre-nomination study and inventory of what is available. The second is the nomination stage, where the plan is actually put together. The third is implementation of the designed plans.

Jones said the city could put down the money, approximately $3,500, for hiring a professional consultant to apply for the grant, and if it provided an additional $8,000, it could apply for the grant starting at phase two, when the plan is actually developed.

The additional money would go toward the inventory process and initial planning that would have to be completed to enter the grant at phase two, Jones said.

County Planning Director James Mraz previously said the Glove Cities could apply for the grant separately, but they would be competing against each other for funding.

Levi Pascher covers Gloversville news. He can be reached at [email protected].

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