Len Simon: New Zoning, New Opportunities

Dear Neighbors:

Legislation titled “Local Law Introductory No. 11 and No. 12 of 2022” may bring on a yawn, but their details have the potential to help guide the Village’s towards an exciting future.

Our Board adopted those two laws November 1 after more than 1 ½ years of analysis, environmental review, hearings and consideration by advisory bodies, helped by talented planners and, most importantly, Croton residents actively participating in the process.

The evolution of this effort can be viewed at the Project Page for the South Riverside Avenue Area Zoning Study at https://www.crotononhudson-ny.gov/ongoing-projects-initiatives-proposed-infrastructure-improvements/pages/south-riverside-avenue-area and at our Board meeting for November 1, 2022 when we adopted the legislation at https://play.champds.com/crotononhudsonny/event/808.

Our objective in adopting these laws was to encourage revitalization and reduce commercial vacancies in the Harmon neighborhood and introduce a mixed-use transit-oriented concept to the train station area.

Mixed used buildings, containing both retail/commercial and housing have been permitted in Harmon for many years. The changes adopted would allow housing without a retail/commercial component, since the requirement for it may be an impediment to future housing development. The new law also permits housing to have three full stories rather than requiring the third story to be constructed within the roofline of the building.

Our hope is that with these modifications, there will be more housing, some affordable but most of it market-rate, for those currently living or working in the Village or for those who aspire to be part of our Croton community, and, of course, new customers for Croton businesses.

The legislation also allows for transit-oriented mixed use and multi-family residential development in the Light Industrial zoning district near the train station. For Example – “Lot A” – the overflow parking lot across from the main train parking lot – is not needed in post-Covid commuting, so it could be an appealing site for development that would enhance our Village.

These new Zoning amendments establish the rules for future development in these areas. But actual development will only happen on a project-by-project basis under the scrutiny and oversight of our Planning Board and the Board of Trustees, with ample neighborhood and public engagement at every step in the process.

As we proceed, we will be eager to learn from the development community of their interest in pursuing opportunities on vacant or underutilized land and on properties owned by the Village. I’m looking forward to a bright future for these parts of Croton, and the active involvement by Village residents to make it so.

Len Simon, Trustee

Village of Croton-on-Hudson

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