Law may hurt development

The Gloversville Planning Board made an important recommendation to the city’s Common Council last week when it urged city lawmakers not to pass a proposed law limiting the number of units in new multiple-family dwellings in residential areas.

“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.

We agree with Planning Board Chairman William Ferguson when he said the law is a “knee-jerk reaction” to the controversial Kinderhook Development project called Overlook Ridge Apartments.

Mayor Dayton King and council members have said residents tell them they don’t want any more projects like Overlook Ridge in their neighborhoods.

We understand those concerns, but we agree with the Planning Board members.

Policies like this can be detrimental to development. There may be nothing wrong with a housing complex itself, but where it is located could cause problems.

If there are places in the city where an apartment building is unwanted, the city could look at changing the zoning in those areas.

A blanket policy like the city council proposes is ill-conceived. As board member Geoffrey Peck said, what if Fulton-Montgomery Community College wanted to build new student housing in one of the Glove Cities? Gloversville likely would be ruled out and the development would go somewhere else.

We urge the Common Council to consider more precise zoning changes.

By -