Village Works to Amend Zoning Laws, Hears Parking Concerns

On Monday, May 21, the Village Board met to begin the process of amending a local law concerning zoning within the local business district and surrounding areas. This measure is the first step in facilitating new construction projects, as well as giving a clearer understanding of previously undefined building and occupancy standards. Board members also heard from a number of concerned citizens regarding ongoing parking issues within the Village.

The Village Board approved a resolution introducing Introductory Local Law 1 of 2018, which will amend Chapter 98 Schedule B of the Village Code Entitled “Zoning” and Village of Pawling Local Law No.4 of 1994. The resolution also amends Village of Pawing Local Law No.4 of the 1994 Comprehensive Plan Update 14 of the Addendum to the Comprehensive Plan. These regulations concern the maximum building height, and permit limited ground-floor residential occupancy for shop-front, mixed-use buildings in the Village of Pawling’s B-1 District.

Essentially, this measure will serve several purposes once enacted. Currently, the regulations regarding a building’s maximum height are unclear, and the Board’s decision to amend the local law will clarify this issue. The Village Board is proposing raising the maximum height of any structure to 50 feet, which will keep all buildings uniform with the Dutcher House, which has a height of 47 feet.

The proposed changes will also allow for an addendum to the Village Comprehensive Plan, specifically regarding mixed-use buildings. The Village of Pawling B-1 district, which includes Memorial Avenue, Colman Blvd., and sections of East and West Main Street, allows only for commercial rental space on the ground floor with residential space above. The proposed addendum to the Comprehensive Plan would keep these regulations in place in those areas, but would allow for flexibility for properties in certain locations away from the center of the Village. Officials believe this will give the Village Planning Board greater flexibility to judge property zoning on a case-by-case basis, and will ultimately lead to fewer vacant properties in the Village. The Village Board approved the measure unanimously, and set a public hearing regarding the proposed changes for Monday, June 18, at 7:00 p.m. at Village Hall, 9 Memorial Ave.

In final business, officials heard from several residents regarding parking issues within the Village. Representatives from several local businesses including The Cleanery, Pawling Karate, and Great Wall Chinese Restaurant expressed displeasure with the presence of a classic car club which meets on Colman Blvd. each Wednesday. The merchants allege that the classic automobiles take up too many parking spots and deter regular customers from having adequate parking. Other resident complaints regarding parking included concern over renters parking their vehicles on the front lawns of single- and double-family houses within the village. One resident also sought clarification on matters concerning parking enforcement officials using personal cell phones to keep track of parking time limits. The Village Board declared that it will take these issues into consideration as it works toward rectifying the ongoing parking issues in the area.

The next Village Board meeting will be held on Monday, June 4, at 7:00 p.m. at Village Hall, 9 Memorial Avenue.