The Lloyd Town Board opened last week’s meeting with a public hearing that accessory apartments must be situated on two acre lots.
John Litts said the Town Board has spoken about affordable housing, about the town’s seniors and trying to keep younger people from moving away.
“I think accessory apartments are a very good tool for that and putting a two acre on any zone is a mistake,” he said. “My opinion is the law that’s in place now is sufficient. I don’t think it puts very much burden on the property that it’s on for an accessory apartment. I hope you take that into consideration.”
G. Daniel and Wendy Rosinski submitted a letter to the Town Board, dated March 19, stating their opposition to raising the acreage requirement needed for these apartments.
“I feel you are being biased to the homeowners in the hamlet who have detached garages and carriage houses on less than two acre parcels, as most of the homes in the hamlet are,” they wrote. “The trend for smaller homes in Highland is obvious with the development of Trail View, High Bridge and the new apartments behind Dollar General. Accessory apartments over an existing structure, which is probably already served by municipal water and sewer, makes sense.”
Fred Pizzuto, Chairman of the Planning Board, also weighed in on this issue in a March 20 letter to the Town Board.
“I recommend tabling those resolutions and re-referring the subject back to the Planning Board for further review and comment. In light of the confusion at the county level [Ulster County Planning Board] and their incorrect response, and to further the discussion to resolve some differences related to this matter, I feel it is in the best interest of the taxpayers to rethink this topic,” he wrote.
Town Board voted no to change the town code’s accessory apartment regulations to a two acre minimum, leaving in place the current provisions in the code.
Assisted Living/Nursing Facilities
The board held a second public hearing to prohibit the placement of Assisted Living Facilities and Nursing Homes in the R-2 (single-family residence, 2 acre) zone.
A developer recently proposed a 150 bed Assisted Living/Memory Care center in this very zone off of Bellevue Road. Residents in the area roundly opposed this project, citing in particular traffic, noise, water and visual considerations.
Joan Kelly resides in this area and read a letter that she had submitted to the Town Board, indicating that she fully supports the prohibition of locating these types of operations in the R-2 zone.
“Nursing homes are a use that is too intense for this area. Multi- family and town houses are not permitted in this zone and they are a lower density than nursing homes,” she said.
Kelly pointed out that the entire west bank of Hudson River in Lloyd is zoned R-2, “because of the steep slopes, rocky soil and absence of public water and sewer.” She further noted that higher water usage at a Nursing home may adversely affect the wells of the single family homes in the area, “which is a threat to our health and welfare.”
Robert Haskins touched upon traffic and safety issues concerning an Assisted Living center, pointing out that existing roadways in the Bellevue Road area are narrow with diminished lines of sight and, “populated by as many pedestrians as there are cars.” He said a 150 bed facility, like the one proposed, will only increase the number of cars, trucks and ambulances coming in and out of the area.
Jeffrey Anzevino, Director of Land Use Advocacy for Scenic Hudson, said his environmental organization supports the prohibition of Assisted Living Facilities and Nursing Homes in R-2 zones.
Anzevino pointed out that Lloyd created the Waterfront Bluff Overlay District [WBOD] as a means, “to protect and enhance the scenic qualities of the town’s waterfront area by maintaining, creating and continuing the vegetative corridor of the Mid-Hudson River region.” He noted that large-scale developments, such as Assisted Living/Nursing Home facilities, though currently permitted along the Lloyd bluff area by Special Use Permit, are inconsistent with WBOD guidelines, which are, “intended to protect these visual and other resources.”
The Town Board took notice of the public’s opposition and unanimously approved a revision to Chapter 100, entitled Zoning [100-12], that will prohibit Assisted Living/Nursing facilities in the R-2 (single family residence, 2 acre) zone.