Press-Republican

January 6, 2014

Huge Plattsburgh residential development advances

Zoning change could bring 250 lots to Town of Plattsburgh

DAN HEATH
Press-Republican

PLATTSBURGH — A plan for development of up to 250 residential lots on a 95-acre parcel on Rugar Street has taken another step forward. 

Broker Chris LaBarge of Peryea-LaBarge Real Estate in Malone and Gerald Menard of Plattsburgh Wholesale Homes would like to develop the property between Huntington Drive and Benny Blake Road, on the west side of Interstate 87. It runs south from Rugar Street to the Saranac River.

“Progress is being made,” LaBarge told the Press-Republican. 

MAP CHANGES

The Town Council has approved an amendment to the town Zoning Map to rezone the parcel from Residential 2 to Residential 2 with a Planned Development District Overlay. That extra designation allows the town to consider alternatives to what is allowed by zoning on certain parcels, LaBarge said.

Another amendment of the town zoning ordinance allows single-family residential development in a Planned Development District. 

A third change amended the zoning map to reclassify a portion of the parcel along the Saranac River from Residential 2 to Land Conservation District, to protect public access to the river.

The actions required assessment under the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act.

The town, as lead agency, issued a negative SEQRA declaration, determining there would be no significant environmental impacts, so a Draft Environmental Impact Statement is not required.

HOUSING REQUEST

LaBarge said the next step is to submit a request to the Town Council under Planned Development District rules to allow manufactured housing on the property, with previously outlined restrictions. Those include no mobile-home parks and that all manufactured homes placed on a lot be three years old or newer. 

The town and county planning boards are expected to give opinions on that for the council’s consideration. 

Initial discussions also included the possibility of some commercial development to serve the property, mainly near the Rugar Street entrance.

That part of the process could take another few months, LaBarge said.

Once all that is accomplished, the developers can submit formal plans for subdivisions to the Town Planning Board for approval.

PHASED DEVELOPMENT

Development is expected to be done in phases of 20 to 25 lots at a time. 

The plan does not limit development to manufactured housing. Modular or stick-built homes would also be allowed.

Lot sizes would be 9,000 square feet, which provides enough space for a 1,600-square-foot home and a garage.

Initial plans call for winding roads through the development, to help keep traffic speeds under control and create a more family-friendly environment.

Water and sewer from the town and natural gas from New York State Electric and Gas are available.

IMPACT CONSIDERED

The property is on the edge of several mobile-home parks along Rugar Street and Military Turnpike. 

Town Supervisor Bernie Bassett said moving toward a Planned Development District has led to what looks like a much better plan for that development. 

“I think the end result of these zoning amendments is a good example of working with a project but also looking at the impacts on an area,” he said.

Bassett said the plan would also make a nice transition from the western end of Rugar Street moving east and could pave the way for additional development.

“I think this will be a significant benefit to additional development of that area,” he said.

Email Dan Heath:dheath@pressrepublican.com