MALONE — The Malone Village Board believes rezoning existing residential areas for business use would spark economic development and investment.
But a possible environmental study and a public hearing to take comments from affected land owners must be lined up before any changes can be made.
Village Trustee Michael Maneely said three sites in the village will be targeted for new zoning:
- On Route 30 S (Finney Boulevard) from the village limit at Indian Trails Apartments north to the intersection with Franklin Street.
- Rockland Street from the intersection with Franklin Street north to the intersection with Route 11 (Main Street).
- Fort Covington Street from its intersection at Route 11 (Main Street) north to the village limits on Route 37.
‘TO ATTRACT BUSINESSES’
The trustee and Village Code Officer Charlie Robert have studied, researched and mapped the areas and believe allowing business development there would not only benefit the community as a whole but surrounding property owners.
“It will make their property more valuable,” Maneely said.
That, he said, would be because of their close proximity to a business and also because investors looking to locate in the revised zone may pay more than a property is worth to gain a prime location.
“We’re not trying to discourage anybody from the residential areas, but this will eliminate old buildings and spruce up the village to make it more attractive,” he said.
“We’re just trying to attract more businesses. The west end of town is getting full on Route 11, and the town is getting all the tax base.”
Maneely said the change in zoning would not impact taxes in a negative way.
In fact, expanding the tax base would likely lower property taxes for owners.
And for those who point out that downtown Malone could use the help more than the fringes of the village, he said, “we realize Main Street is empty, but this might attract more stuff and new construction.”
Plans at first included Raymond Street between Route 11 (Main Street) north to Elm Street, but residents quickly made it plain that they weren’t interested, so the village dropped that fourth area from proposed rezoning revisions, Maneely said.
The trustee said businesses seeking to move into a new zone would bring their plans to the Village Zoning Board of Variance, which would research the proposals “to make sure everyone is on board,” he said.
Village Attorney Dick Edwards was looking into whether a full State Environmental Quality Review process must be done to allow rezoning, and Chastity Miller, director of the Franklin County Soil and Water Conservation District, is also assisting.
“We don’t think we have to have a SEQR review, but we want to make sure,” Maneely said.
Residents need not worry about a noisy or polluting business setting up shop next door, he said.
“We’re not going for manufacturing or anything like that, but if you get some small offices or a fast-food restaurant, it would help the whole area.”
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