Board members: Dwelling law could hurt city

GLOVERSVILLE – The city Planning Board on Tuesday recommended the Common Council not pass a proposed local law limiting the number of units in new multiple-family dwellings in residential areas.

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 are considering the law to 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.

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 the Northern Terrace and Lee Avenue neighborhood.

However, the Planning Board said it wouldan’t benefit the city to eliminate similar future residential development because of one bad experience.

Board Chairman William Ferguson said a “knee-jerk reaction” to the previous controversial project would actually hurt the city rather than help.

As an example of the problem the law could cause, board member Geoffrey Peck said if the city approved the law and Fulton-Montgomery Community College began to look for sites in surrounding communities for additional student housing, Gloversville would be eliminated.

“Do we really want development like that to go to Johnstown or somewhere else?” Peck asked.

James Anderson, vice chairman of the board, said he lives in the area of Overlook Ridge Apartments. Anderson said his problem with the project wasn’t so much the building or construction of the complex, but the fact the property is tax-exempt providing no economic benefit to the city.

Board members said as long as a project is done correctly and benefits the city, future development shouldn’t be prevented. Therefore, the board unanimously recommended disapproval of the proposed zoning change.

The zoning change still needs to go before the Fulton County Planning Board before the city can take any action on the proposed changes.

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