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Irvington to Create Waterfront Zoning District

IRVINGTON, N.Y. – Irvington is considering the creation of a new waterfront zoning district to replace the current industrial zoning district during an upcoming public hearing on Jan. 18 at 7 p.m. at Village Hall.

Trustees will also consider two other “housekeeping” laws, according to Village Administrator Lawrence Schopfer: one will change the zoning map to delete the industrial district and add the waterfront district. Another law will clean up the overall zoning code to replace mentions of the industrial district with the waterfront district.

The new zoning district would allow building uses such as retail stores, hotels, restaurants, day care centers, museums, art dealers, recreation facilities, a farmers market, theaters and fitness clubs.

Special permits could be issued under the new zoning law for residential units above the first floor. The law limits the total number of all dwelling units in the waterfront district to 10 percent of the total gross floor area unless the board of trustees approves it and a traffic impact study is completed.

Retail stores larger than 5,000 square feet could also be approved by special permit if it “will be in harmony with the appropriate and orderly development of the Waterfront District and will not be detrimental to the orderly development of adjacent properties.” A traffic impact study would also have to be completed.

The law prohibits chemical plants, motor-testing laboratories and other facilities that would create offensive noises, gases and emissions. The law also prohibits restaurants that provide curbside or drive-through services.

Current businesses would be excluded from the law if it is passed.

The new zoning district would also mandate an open, landscaped area within the first 28 feet of the Hudson River and Scenic Hudson Park. Buildings would be limited to a height of 35 feet.

Trustee Constance Kehoe said during Tuesday's board of trustees meeting that she was concerned about the residential aspect of the law, saying it would create more of an implied private enclave rather than an open business district.

Schopfer said he didn't think that would be a huge concern because the law limits dwellings to 10 percent of the total area.

Trustees contemplated whether the planning board of the board of trustees should have authority over granting special permits, ultimately deciding on the board of trustees.

“We could always ask for help from the planning board if we didn't know what we wanted to do,” Mayor Brian Smith said. “We could consult with them.”

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