In 2009, Clarkstown began updating its comprehensive plan and part of that process involves a review of the state highways – Routes 9W, 303, 304 and 59 - that run through the town and the zoning along those stretches. At tonight’s 7:30 meeting, the consultant hired by the town, Cambridge Systematics, will present the results of its study of Route 9W that included a survey of existing business and interviews with property owners.
Supervisor Alex Gromack said some of the zoning along Route 9W has been in place for 30 to 40 years and needed to be re-examined as part of the comprehensive plan review. He said the state corridors are magnets for business and it was time for an updated look at them in terms of possible redevelopment.
“We thought one of the first areas that needed to be reviewed and updated was the state highway corridors,” he said. “It was an opportunity after decades to look at these state highways.”
Principal Town Planner Joe Simoes said residents and business owners will get information on the consultant’s evaluation and be able to give input on the concepts and what they would like to see along the corridor. The town sent out 2,000 notices announcing the meeting. The portion of Route 9W studied covers the northern end where it merges with Route 304 to the southern end at Christian Herald Road.
“We’re actually presenting some of the initial finding of their analysis,” said Simoes. “They have some concepts they are going to present to the public.”
The consultant looked at what zoning is currently in place, what the actual land use is, what types of businesses exist, whether they are compatible with the zoning and where they are located.
Simoes provided several examples of uses that will be discussed:
- Parking requirements
- Land uses
- Intersections and traffic lights
“There is an environmental aspect to it,” he said, noting some of the office and industrial parks do not have on-site food establishments.
At lunchtime, traffic increases because people are going out for food. If zoning is changed to permit a restaurant or deli to open within the business park then people will not use their cars as much.
Another potential change of zoning to allow high-tech business along the corridor could have an economic impact.
The analysis and the community input from the meeting may result in proposed new zoning, which Gromack said, could happen in mid 2012. The town is holding a public meeting on the study of the Routes 303 and 304 corridors on Monday, Nov. 21 at 7:30 pm. That leaves one remaining state highway for review.
“Route 59 we start studying next year,” said Simoes. “We will start in the east and work our way to the west.”