Press-Republican

August 24, 2013

Developers seek zoning change

DAN HEATH
Press-Republican

PLATTSBURGH — Developers want to rezone a 95-acre parcel that runs south of Rugar Street to allow mobile homes.

Realtor Chris LaBarge of Peryea-LaBarge Real Estate in Malone appeared before the Town of Plattsburgh Planning Board to request the parcel be switched from Residential 2 to the Manufactured Home classification.

He has an agreement with property owner Gerald Menard of Plattsburgh Wholesale Homes to acquire a 50 percent share of the property if it is rezoned.

Their plan calls for up to 250 lots on the property, although the maximum number depends on the results of wetlands surveys. 

LaBarge said there is a need for single-family, affordable housing in this area, as was indicated in the update of the town’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan in 2010.

Another bonus is that the property is served by town water and sewer, and New York State Electric and Gas natural-gas service is also available.

NEWER MOBILE HOMES

The lots would be sold, not rented. Another provision of the plan would not allow homes with a manufacture date of more than three years old.

“We have no desire to create a mobile-home park,” LaBarge said.

Menard said modular or stick-built homes would also be allowed. The rezoning is only intended to allow mobile homes to be included.

The property sits between Huntington Drive and Benny Blake Road, west of Interstate 87. It runs south to near the Saranac River. 

It is adjacent to a cluster of mobile-home parks and communities along Rugar Street and Military Turnpike.

LaBarge said he would like to see a Planned Development District overlay that could allow for commercial enterprises that would benefit the properties, such as convenience stores, mainly near Rugar Street.

WINDING ROADS

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

Although no formal plans will be created until the zoning issue is decided, LaBarge said they would incorporate green space into the project. Menard said there is a sandy beach on the Saranac River at the south end of the parcel.

LaBarge said the roads in the parcel would be winding rather than straight lines, to slow traffic and create a more family-friendly environment. 

There is also a possible connection to Deer Run, which links to Military Turnpike, for additional access. That would likely require remediation of wetlands.

The Planning Board has to make a recommendation on the request to the Plattsburgh Town Council by Sept. 20.

Planning Board members Terry Besaw, Sandy Latourelle and Jeff Wagner agreed to serve on a committee to meet with the developers and help draft a recommendation report before the next Planning Board meeting, scheduled for Sept. 17.

The Town Council then has to decide whether it will hold a public hearing and later vote on the issue or take no action, which would end this stage of the rezoning process.

‘A REAL NEED’

The rezoning request also has to be referred to the Clinton County Planning Board. In addition, it requires a State Environmental Quality Review Act determination on environmental impact.

LaBarge said that, in a perfect world, the zoning change could be accomplished in time to start selling lots early next year. They envision subdivisions to allow for phased development of 20 to 25 lots at a time.

“We would like to see an upscale mobile-home community in the Plattsburgh area,” Menard said. “A lot of people are looking for mobile-home lots right now. 

“There’s a real need for it.”

Email Dan Heath:dheath@pressrepublican.com