Tivoli gateway zoning proposals outlined

Farm B&B’s would be in. Motels and commercial offices would need a special permit. And light industry and gas stations would be out.

That’s the essence of the proposed zoning updates to the Tivoli residential-business district, according to a presentation by planning consultant Michelle Greig at the village board meeting Aug. 15.

The recommendations also mean that a controversial self-storage facility at the village’s gateway would not be allowed.

Greig has been working with the Zoning Review Committee to gradually bring the Residential-Business district zoning codes into conformance with the Tivoli Comprehensive Plan that was adopted by the Board of Trustees in 2005. State law requires zoning codes be consistent with any formally adopted comprehensive plan.

After seven years, however, there still remains a large number of regulations slated for update. Greig’s presentation outlined some of the overall goals as well as a number of proposed specific land use changes.

“The goal of the district is to allow for a wide variety of land uses, both residential and commercial, while still preserving the character of that area as the gateway to the Village of Tivoli,” Greig said. The comprehensive plan puts specific emphasis on maintaining the rural visual appeal of the area, saying that its “status as a designated scenic roadway be maintained and enhanced,” and recommends uses that are small-scale and preserve historic structures and scenic views.

The recommendations from the Zoning Review Committee include adding agriculture, bed & breakfast establishments and farmers’ markets to the list of allowable uses in the zone. Larger commercial establishments such as motels and offices would be subject to a special permit. The proposal also calls for removing light industry and gas stations from the list of allowable uses in the area.

The inclusion of light industry in the older codes was at the center of controversy recently, when the proposal for a self-storage facility on Route 9 at the gateway to the village met with strong resistance from community members and landowners in the district.

Greig noted that in drafting the proposal, the Zoning Review Committee held a meeting open to all landowners in the RB district to solicit their input on the matter. Trustee Susan Ezrati explained that the area’s environmental sensitivity has prolonged the regulation process somewhat. Updates to the Village Code must also be made to conform with other sections of the Comprehensive Plan as well as the Coastal Management Plan and the local Waterfront Revitalization effort.

The public hearing remains open until the next meeting of the Village Board of Trustees presently scheduled for September 19.

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