Lloyd seeks to revive adaptive reuse law

By Mark Reynolds
Posted 1/25/22

Last week the Lloyd Town Board set a public hearing to establish an Adaptive Reuse Overlay District for February 16 at 7 p.m. at the town hall. The law will cover the present boundary of the …

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Lloyd seeks to revive adaptive reuse law

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Last week the Lloyd Town Board set a public hearing to establish an Adaptive Reuse Overlay District for February 16 at 7 p.m. at the town hall. The law will cover the present boundary of the town.

The wording of the new law states that the town has evaluated their Comprehensive Plan and the existing zoning to identify the need to make any changes or improvements in their zoning code. The law acknowledges that the goal of the Comprehensive Plan, “is to provide for the orderly development and redevelopment of properties located within the Town and to ensure that uses within the town are appropriately located in relation to each other and consistent with the community character of the Town.”

The proposed law further states that the Town Board has considered the “cumulative impacts of increased development” in the town as well as the impacts “on surrounding uses.” In conclusion, the law states that the Town Board, “finds that the amendments to the Zoning Code are consistent with the Comprehensive Plan and existing zoning and will promote the public health, welfare and safety within the Town of Lloyd.”

The new law will repeal the current definition in the code for Adaptive Reuse that is in Ch. 100-8, which states that, “An existing building rehabilitated or converted to a new use while preserving and saving some of the unique features of the building that have historic value to the Town.” The amended definition defines an Adaptive Reuse Project as “the proposed renovation or redevelopment of an existing non-residential building and the property containing such building for a new use.”

The new law is designed to establish an Overlay Zone that would encourage the “adaptive reuse of specific types of unused or underutilized buildings and the properties. The purpose of this new District is to, “enhance retail and commercial opportunities” where commercial uses may not be allowed; to provide a varied housing stock to allow residents of all income levels access to housing and to incentivize property owners to repurpose their buildings rather than having them continue to decay and be a blight upon the landscape.

Any eligible property for adaptive reuse would be subject to a Special Use Permit review by the Planning Board in consultation with the Town Board. Prior to filing an application, the applicant will participate in a pre-application process with both boards to discuss the key elements of the, “uses, density and public benefits proposed.” The Town Board will then provide their comments to the Planning Board and they will not act contrary to the Town Boards recommendations, “without written findings explaining their reasons for doing so.”

The law states a number of allowed uses for a reuse project such as small businesses, service businesses, restaurants and apartments. The density of a particular project will be determined by the Planning Board, but the law further states that, “as an incentive for an adaptive reuse project, the Planning Board may allow for more density than permitted in the underlying zoning district based on findings made in the Special Use Permit consistent with Zoning. These include a project meeting the provisions of the State Quality Review Act [SEQR]; that it is supported by available public facilities concerning water, sewer, transportation, waste disposal and fire protection; that the public benefit is equal in measure or extent to the incentive granted by the Town Board and that the project is sufficiently advantageous to render it appropriate for granting an incentive [Ch. 100-35(K)(1)(a)-(d)]. Some community benefits include improvements to park areas, construction of pedestrian walkways such as sidewalks, walking and hiking paths, or to other public works or infrastructure. The law also allows for cash for the construction and/or improvements in lieu of a proposal to undertake the proposed work.

The law also provides dimensional standards: renovated or new buildings will be limited to their existing footprint; the height of structures will adhere to the town’s standard of 35 feet; the minimum lot size is ¼ acre; minimum floor areas for an efficiency apartment is 500 sq/ft; a 1 bedroom 700 sq/ft, a 2 bedroom at 900 sq/ft, a 3 bedroom of 1,050 sq/ft and a 4 bedroom at 1,200 sq/ft.

In addition, adaptive reuse projects are subject to the Affordable Housing provisions in the town code and must provide off street parking, proper signage, outdoor lighting, sidewalks along the frontage, buffering and proper screening.

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