Monday, December 18, 2017
   
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In Irvington…Comprehensive Plan Update

On July 7th Irvington’s Comprehensive Plan Committee, consisting of the Mayor, four Trustees, Planning Board Chairman, Architectural Review Board Chairman and the Zoning Board of Appeals Chairman released a summary of recommendations. These recommendations came from the working groups formed in March to look into key areas of the existing Comprehensive Plan. The list of recommendations was then refined and a total of 50 items were included in the Comprehensive Plan Update.

Under Zoning Code Issues, “The Zoning Code should be amended to permit B&Bs (Bed and Breakfast) throughout the Village by special permit. Air B&Bs should also be permitted by special permit. In either type of B&B, the house has to be the primary residence of the operator and events and parties should not be allowed. For Air B&Bs, there should be a limit on the number of days per year that the rooms in the house may be rented out.”

Other areas where the Zoning Code should be amended “are garages to be used for additional living space, studios, home offices or similar uses, as long as the use does not result in additional cars parked on the street and that the garage meets all NYS Building Code requirements for the use.”

Here’s an interesting and fermenting proposal. “The Zoning Code should be amended to permit small breweries and distilleries in the Business, Railroad and Waterfront Districts.” Couple this with “provisions should be added to the Code to permit beekeeping and raising chickens (but not roosters.)” One wonders if not allowing roosters will incite a gender discrimination flurry of tweets?

Moving on to development considerations the updated Comprehensive Plan has listed at lucky #13, “In general, the Broadway Corridor should remain much as it is now. The concern is that the residential zoning does not mirror the actual uses of the commercial and institutional properties on the east side of North Broadway, in particular the Carrafiello, 106 North Broadway, Maxon, Abbott House, and Rev. Moon property. (Some have special permits; others have use variances.) More significantly, if those properties were to be re-developed as single-family residential, it would greatly change the open spaces on those large properties and would result in too many individual properties accessing Broadway.”

On Main Street and Downtown in general  there is a recommendation to, “replace the current Department of Public Works (DPW) facility with a combination of residential/professional and limited retail buildings, with residential entrances on Buckout and commercial entrances on Astor, in scale with the surrounding area.” Also, “reclaim Astor Street parking lot when the MTA lease expires; explore whether the lot should be used solely for commuter parking or developed in some other way, including multi-story parking.” Continuing the parking theme #24 on the list states, “consider relocating the Fire Department and replacing with parking or a new building.”

Regarding the waterfront, “consider development of waterfront; marina/boat docking (possibly including tour boats) [which] would provide non-vehicular access to restaurants and may encourage further use of West Main Street.” Also, “prioritize pedestrian access to Scenic Hudson Park and Bridge Street with pedestrian bridge over [railroad] tracks.”

The updated Comprehensive Plan list rounded out and ended with Historic Irvington and environmental and sustainable issues. Under Historic Irvington, “the Village should adopt the use of special permitting or some similar zoning provision to allow incentives to benefit property owners who wish to maintain the historic and architectural character of their property.” With the environment and sustainability, “a municipal policy should be created to encourage alternative energy. At #50, “electric vehicle charging stations should be installed at various locations in the Village.”

The Village of Irvington, its officials and elected officers have much to consider and time will only tell when and what recommendations will be enacted. While the work has begun, much remains. It is the intent of the Village to adopt a revised Comprehensive Plan by the end of 2017.

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