As part of their Aug. 31 meeting, the Hyde Park Town Board held public hearings on two proposed zoning changes to the downtown area.

These zoning updates are a part of the Downtown Initiative to create a more vibrant downtown, improve pedestrian access, sewer infrastructure and zoning that allows more density and a more typical downtown streetscape along Route 9.

Local Law C will essentially create a new zoning district entitled ‘Town Core’ and rename the ‘Town Center Historic District’ the ‘Corridor Business Zoning District.’

The Corridor Business District will allow for more varied businesses aimed at engaging tourists in areas convenient to major points of interest to create a more vibrant local economy. 

The Town Core Design and Development Standards will allow for buildings to be larger and yard setbacks to be smaller while staying consistent with traditional rural downtowns in the Hudson River Valley. 

It will also create a consistent streetscape design with appropriate pedestrian connections along the east side of Route 9 from Quality Inn to Hyde Park Plaza. The streetscape upgrades consist of crosswalks, sidewalks with full accessibility, shoulders for bicyclists, and consistent curb lines.    

Two-family dwellings will be allowed in the zoning district where it is currently prohibited.  Multifamily dwellings, which are currently allowed in the Town Center Historic District, will be permitted in the Corridor Business zone to further expand housing. 

“The idea is to make it clearer that this area isn’t all a historic district,” said former Hyde Park Councilperson Emily Svenson. 

More details about the zoning changes are available on the Hyde Park town website.The public hearing will continue on Sept. 21.

Local Law B will amend and clarify the definition of commercial recreation use by providing two distinct categories, indoor and outdoor recreation use.

Indoor recreation is considered to be any recreational activity conducted in a building. This may also include related activities such as food service facilities, serving of alcoholic beverages, or clothing. 

Outdoor recreation is considered to be any recreational activities on ball fields, playing fields, bike trails, hiking, etc., that is conducted on a commercial basis.

The public hearing for Local Law B was closed and the town board will consider voting on the measure at the Sept. 21 meeting.

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