The Clarkstown Town Board approved a change in the zoning law to allow Neighborhood Shopping Districts along the state highway corridors of Route 9W and Route 304. After holding a public hearing, the board voted unanimously to amend the law and allow commercial-mixed use development that will complement the surrounding neighborhoods.
Clarkstown Principal Planner Joe Simoes said, “Neighborhood Shopping Zoning is in compliance with the comprehensive plan."
About a half dozen residents spoke during the public hearing, divided between favoring the new zoning and raising questions about the residential component. Deputy Town Attorney Daniel Kraushaar said other boards that reviewed the original version of the proposed law had changed it and removed the option for residential apartments over businesses in Bardonia. However, it remains in the law as a permitted use for the northern part of Route 9W in Congers.
Simoes said the revised proposal allows two floors of residential apartments above two levels of commercial or retail businesses with a special permit. He explained that a maximum build-out of 150 units was allowed.
Frank Grandel voiced his concern that the apartments would be low income. Simoes said the apartments are required to be one or two-bedroom apartments sized from 700 to 1,200 square feet and would rent at market rates.
John Hanchar of Congers favored the zoning change, which he hopes will encourage property owners to invest in what is now an industrial corridor.
“This type of legislation may allow them to do something to improve their land,” he said. “9W could use a little sprucing up.”
Richard Cena of Bardonia agreed.
“I feel the zone change is the right thing for the 9W corridor,” he said.
Kraushaar listed several features of the law. He said it has provisions for flooding mitigation, green building standards and requirements, a special permit for outdoor seating and a limitation on how much of the property can be covered by development.
Simoes said the town’s consultants continue their evaluation of the state highway corridors and are currently looking at Route 59 and the zoning that is in place along with the existing development and uses.
Editor's Note: Although Route 303 was studied by the consultants, it was not included in the Neighorhood Shopping Zoning change. Up to two floors of residential apartments are permitted.