January 28, 2013

Town Zoning Code updated

PLATTSBURGH — The Town of Plattsburgh has an updated Zoning Ordinance. 

Town Planning Department head Philip Von Bargen said the Comprehensive Land Use Plan adopted by the town in 2010 provided the basis to review the zoning code.

A draft of changes was created by a committee of town officials, residents and consultant Stuart Mesinger of the Chazen Companies during a 14-month period.

Public comment on the draft was accepted, then reviewed by Planning Department staff and the consultant. Some of it was incorporated into the final version.

The Town Council completed a State Environmental Quality Review of the proposed changes and adopted the revised ordinance, which took effect Jan. 18.


The new regulations include a section on lighting. Von Bargen said that, in the past, the Planning Board conducted its review of lighting plans based on recommendations for guidelines from his office.

“Many of those guidelines are now part of the code,” he said.

Those provisions are intended to avoid the unnecessary spillover of light from one property to another. The section addresses glare reduction, a more

controlled lighting footprint, reduced lighting intensity and more uniform illumination of a site.


The new ordinance includes areas now zoned for medium-density residential development in the town portion of the former Plattsburgh Airbase Redevelopment Corp. site. It would allow construction of multi-family rentals, condominiums and townhouses.

It allows four-dwelling structures on parcels of one-third of an acre (about 15,000 square feet) or larger. Each additional dwelling unit requires 3,500 square feet of land on the parcel.

The areas are along the Sharron Avenue frontage near Montana Drive and near Iowa Circle and Kansas Avenue.

Neighborhood commercial uses are also now accepted in those areas, as well as along Connecticut Avenue and The Barracks golf course.


The town has zoned almost half of the 11 miles of shoreline along the Saranac River as land-conservation property. It restricts development of between 150 feet and 300 feet along the riverbank to mainly recreational uses.

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