June 8, 2023

Woodstock is one step nearer to altering its zoning to advertise the event of housing accessible to all who stay and work locally.

“It’s a mixture of a whole lot of onerous work from the duty pressure and a whole lot of conversations and enter from lots of people locally,” stated Housing Oversight Job Pressure co-chair Deborah DeWan on the April 18 assembly of the city board. The board referred the proposed zoning amendments to the city and county planning boards for evaluate.

“Our mission has been to make housing extra obtainable to individuals of a spread of revenue ranges and backgrounds, whereas preserving the city’s distinctive character and scale and persevering with to guard our pure setting. It’s derived instantly from the great plan, which  helps creation of a wide range of housing choices and proactively planning for an expanded mixture of housing sorts in Woodstock,” stated DeWan.

Planning marketing consultant Nan Stolzenburg, who labored with the duty pressure, complimented the members on their efforts. “I can vouch that they learn each letter, each remark in each assembly that they’d, to actually consider the concepts and issues that people obtained locally in regards to the first suggestions that had been made,” Stolzenburg stated. “And so they evaluated each single one in all them actually line by line over the past yr to guage how the zoning code addressed these issues that had been raised, whereas additionally assembly the duty pressure and the great plan aims and targets.”

Job pressure co-chair Kirk Ritchey stated the group was making the modifications in order that the individuals who work for the city, who volunteer for the city, and the firefighters, the EMTs and different members of the neighborhood who help the city may afford to proceed to stay in Woodstock.

“The one factor about inexpensive housing I wish to stress is that what which means to me is housing the place there’s not a burden of lease or mortgage based mostly on the revenue that particular person has.” Ritchey stated.

Subdivisions of great measurement will likely be required to put aside half the land for conservation. The clustering of buildings will likely be inspired.

One other aim was the elimination of ambiguous language to help the planning board in establishing requirements and enhancing procedures — offering larger certainty throughout the evaluate and approval course of. 

It’s going to now be required for a property proprietor to come back earlier than the planning board with a pre-sketch plan, establishing a rapport between the planning board and the property proprietor from the start.

“After which from there they’ll they’ll perceive your intentions, after which from there, they may give their perception as to what they might be in search of,” defined Ritchey. “What this does is it prevents property house owners coming in with their staff of attorneys and engineers, spending a whole lot or possibly even hundreds of {dollars} even earlier than they’ve met with the planning board.”

Different highlights of the zoning amendments embody transferring all housing-related objects into one chapter; simplifying accent dwelling unit necessities, selling long-term leases by permitting extra accent dwelling models if they’re inexpensive, requiring inexpensive housing in sure forms of developments, and selling inexpensive housing by way of density bonuses.

The city and county planning boards can have 45 days to evaluate the modifications and supply remark. The general public will likely be given the chance to remark earlier than the ultimate zoning amendments are accredited.

The publish Proposed Woodstock zoning modifications search to protect housing affordability first appeared on Hudson Valley One.