TICONDEROGA - An overhaul of the Ticonderoga land use code has been completed.
Supervisor Deb Malaney expects the plan to be presented to the town board in the near future. After the town board reviews the updated plan it will be forwarded to the town planning board. After both boards give an OK, Malaney expects the plan will be adopted.
The proposed zoning includes design guidelines for new and substantially renovated commercial buildings, requirements for new signs, standards for landscaping, parking, outdoor lighting and similar elements of commercial development.
The draft law also regulates the types and intensity of small businesses that would be allowed in residential areas.
In 2006, Ticonderoga adopted a revised Comprehensive Plan focused on revitalizing the town's hamlet, supporting tourism efforts and promoting the town's role as a regional center. With funding through a Quality Communities Grant from the New York Department of State, the town appointed a committee and hired a consultant to revise and modernize its zoning law to implement the goals and policies outlined in the 2006 plan.
A series of five community forums were held from July to November to give the public an opportunity to comment on the details of Ticonderoga's zoning revisions. Written comments were also accepted.
"The process has been open to everyone," Malaney said of the zoning revision. "It's been a good process."
Zoning was an issue for the Ti town board at its January meeting. The board voted to extend a moratorium on ground floor residential apartments in the business district.
The action was taken after Bill Gibbs asked for permission to place an apartment in a building he owns on Montcalm Street. The town board rejected that request.
"We want to retain the character of the business district," Malaney explained.
The Ticonderoga Main Street Partnership and the Ticonderoga Revitalization Alliance both urged the town board to prevent ground floor residences in the business district.
Alex Levitch, chairman of the Ticonderoga Revitalization Alliance, sent town trustees a lengthy statement urging the board to consider several guidelines in making planning decisions. Those guidelines include:
- Will it (a proposed project) be in concert with the town comprehensive and tourist destination plans?
- Will it be consistent with all zoning and moratorium regulations?
-Will it add to or at least not diminish or threaten to diminish the downtown and/or Four Corners (Rts 9n and 74) business viability?
- Will it optimize or at least not diminish or threaten to diminish both foot traffic opportunities and parking availability?
- Will it support main floor businesses?
-Will it optimize or at least not diminish or threaten to diminish opportunities for quality housing?
- Will it optimize or at least not diminish or threaten to diminish appearances of all commercial buildings in full 360 degrees in the downtown business district?
- Will it support or at least not impede yearly inspections, strict fire safety and code enforcement?
- Will it increase the likelihood or at least not diminish the likelihood of attracting new businesses to relocate to Ticonderoga?
- Will it improve or at least not diminish or threaten to diminish our streetscape and further encourage walking within our downtown shopping district?
- Will it add to or at least not diminish of threaten to diminish the overall beauty of the town, its diversity, shopping convenience, attraction of visitors and harmony between businesses?
Malaney said the town board welcomed Levitch's comments and will keep the suggested guidelines in mind when considering the revised zoning plan and other planning issues.
"It's a reminder to the (town) board and the community to keep in mind the vision and revitalization effort in Ti as we face these issues," Malaney said.
For more information, follow the zoning and planning board link on the town website, http://www.townofticonderoga.org or contact Brandy Saxton at 546-7470.