Irvington’s Off Main Street Zoning Committee

Dear Editor:

At the request of the Board of Trustees, the Off Main Street Zoning Committee was created to examine ways of increasing conformance while protecting the neighborhood character of the Downtown 2F zone in the Village of Irvington.

After a year of research and consultation with experts in the field of planning, the Committee has worked to create a proposal for revising the Village Code as it applies to the area in question. That draft proposal, by no means complete, is now before the various Irvington Boards for review, comment, and refinement. This is just the beginning of what we hope will be a constructive and informative process of public review.

It is important for people to realize that under the current zoning for this district only 7 out of 152 properties conform to the existing code. By any acknowledged planning standards, this is a sign of a code that is not functioning as intended. When a code does not properly describe the neighborhood it is designed to serve, it cannot protect the long term erosion of the neighborhood character that results from the inevitable increase in variances over time. The current proposal, as submitted, attempts to reflect more accurately the existing as-built conditions and define an acceptable standard upon which any future appeals decisions can be based.

Recently, our neighbors in the Village have voiced other issues of concern, issues that the Committee has spent a great deal of time considering. Use, parking regulations, view preservation, and environmental controls have not changed from the current code. Special overlay districts are being proposed for neighborhoods where potential development would drastically affect the neighborhood character. Irvington’s well established review and approvals process will still ensure that the concerns of the neighbors most directly affected are properly addressed.

Moving forward, the Committee will hold a series of open work sessions where we can begin to incorporate the comments and ideas gained from the current round of board reviews. From there, we hope to present a revised proposal to the Trustees and, at their discretion, continue forward with the requisite public hearings and quite possibly further amendment. We thank our neighbors for bringing forward their concerns and look forward to working with them and others as we begin the public review process.

Sincerely,
The Off Main Street Zoning Committee
Douglas McClure, Chairman

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