March 13, 2014

City sets hearing, vote on zoning change

PLATTSBURGH —  The City of Plattsburgh Common Council is expected to decide tonight whether to change zoning laws to allow a hotel near Plattsburgh International Airport.

The Clinton County Legislature is seeking to develop a hotel on a 12-acre parcel next to the airport terminal off Route 22.

The site had once housed the Alert Facility on the former Plattsburgh Air Force Base.

The property is located within the city but is zoned for industrial use; a hotel is not permitted.

The councilors agreed to pursue a change to the zoning for that area so a hotel could be developed.

A public hearing on the alteration will be held at 5 p.m., and then the council is expected to vote on the issue during its regular meeting, which begins at 5:30 p.m.

Mayor James Calnon believes changing the zoning is a good idea.

“The Zoning Board will still have final say,” he said.

“All we are doing is expanding the zoning so a hotel project can come before them.”

The county sought bids from developers for a hotel project, but none were submitted by the March 4 deadline.

County officials are regrouping and will be speaking to the four developers who showed some interest in bidding to see what may have dissuaded them.

Legislator Jimmy Langley (R-Area 7, Peru) said the county’s request for a 40-year lease may have turned off some developers.

Calnon said he did not feel the zoning issue prevented anyone from submitting bids, since the city had said it would move to change the law.

“But any business wants some certainty before they put down any money, so making this change can’t hurt,” he said.

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