New building on Main St. New Paltz runs into height restriction

The new structure at 51 Main Street in New Paltz.

Dimitri Viglis, in building the new structure at 51 Main Street in New Paltz, has created both community conversation and problems for himself. The conversation is about the height of the building, which is within code but stands out both because it’s built on a slope and due to how much smaller the historic building next store is by comparison. It’s the fact that he proposed a building which is as tall as legally allowed, 35 feet, has left him without any flexibility when it comes to the air-conditioning units and other equipment which he must put on the roof.

If the building was a few feet shorter, putting the units up top wouldn’t pose any problem. It’s perfectly legal for that machinery to exceed the maximum height, but beyond that only ten percent of the roof can be covered by mechanical structures. The units Viglis had delivered would cover more than twice that area, 23 percent, and he’s seeking a variance from members of the zoning board of appeals.


Last week, New Paltz Village Planning Board members discussed whether to provide comments to be considered by ZBA members. Chairman Michael Zierler said it was a problem “they created themselves” with a plan that “maxed out the height of the building.” If ZBA members consider this a self-created hardship, they may well deny the variance.

Rich Steffens also expressed frustration; the plan was approved three years ago, he reminded his colleagues, and this would be the second variance sought after that point. The original plan showed a two-floor restaurant, but now the second story will be rental space because, Viglis told planning board members, he hadn’t realized how high the tax assessment would be. “We have valid input here,” said Steffens.

Board members did not indicate they thought the variance should be denied, and instead agreed to let ZBA members know that they recommended screening to hide the large machines from sight at street level.

There are 17 comments

  1. Sal Delano

    This is what drives me crazy about New Paltz.
    That the building could basically be ‘finished’ and the town come strolling in and say, it’s too high!
    Is absolutely an epic demonstration of laziness, constantly changing rules to fir hidden agendas, and sheer stupidity – if you want to get down to it.
    I pass this building every day, for months it has been ‘topped off’ and I know that there are required inspections by the town’s building inspector, among others.
    I also know that anyone in the town who’s reviewing plans, ensuring code, has seen for more than a year that there would be HVAC units on top. Again, was no one really paying any attention?!
    New Paltz is more concerned with blocking new development, complaining about new development, than it is with keeping the eye on the ball to grow the town, bring in new business and residential, and the new jobs and tax revenue that come with it.
    This building is a fine building and a great addition to downtown – sorry, but New Paltz has to let this one slide right through with a free pass – they have dropped the ball, not the owner.
    On this, why don’t you folks get busy and do you jobs:
    1. Approve Zero Place
    2. Approve Five Guys, CVS
    3. Tear down the graffit eye-sore at Main and 87 and get that site developed.
    4. Pave Main Street
    5. Design and upgarde a consistent Main Street width, vs. its current zig-zag piecemeil design and have one lane in each direction with a center turn lane the length from the bus station to 87.
    6. Approve and build a new bus station downtown on the current site – a smart site plan can move the bus depot (at actually half-the square footage) to the street-facing corner; build covered bus bays behind it with easy in and out for busses and increase on the same footprint the number of parking sapces by 10. I’ve drafted it out on my own auto-cad and it would work, fit, and benefit all of us.
    7. Approve and build the garage-hotel-mixed use downtown.
    Come on – get busy.

  2. Insider

    It’s amusing how confidently some people think they know about what happens. But those of us who know the truth also know when someone is a blow-hard when they comment. Eventually everyone else will know too.

    1. Duke of the Ridge

      If you are referring to Sal Delano’s comments I agree. I don’t know the inside scoop on this story/building but I drove down main street to see this. This is a really ugly looking building. Truly. I was appalled that the town approved this design because it doesn’t fit in with the surrounding buildings. Asides from that, it looks cheap. It doesn’t elevate the aesthetic of the town in anyway but cheapens it. It is important that we maintain the character of the town and to preserve how special it is. A “five guys, CVS” would not add anything to the town but more congestion (There are already two grocery stores) and waste. We don’t need another Middletown.

  3. New Paltz Born and Raised

    No Way, Do Not Allow This Building. It Is Clearly Destroying The Historic Visual Appearance and its Unique Value as The Traditional “Main Street New Paltz” This Builder Has No True interest in The Beautiful Village Of new Paltz other Than Capitalist Greed and Property Development. Such capital Predators are Your Typical Future Slum Lords.
    Not in New Paltz where i grew up as a child 55 year new paltz resident says no to changing main street into a modern city venue. No keep it in NYC.
    Keep your skyscrappers and traffic in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bornx and Queens, NOT NEW PALTZ.

    1. Duke of the Ridge

      Well said. Thank you!!! “Capitalist Greed and Property Development. Such capital Predators are Your Typical Future Slum Lords.”

    2. no mas

      These clowns know that once the building is up that they have the Buildings Dept by the b’s. The should make an example of this by forcing them to lower the building to the proper height.

    1. New Paltz born and Raised

      Their is no price on the value of our historic village of new paltz.
      we dont want or need your tax money. keep your investment money in N.Y.C.
      New Paltz is a small historic village and will remain that way.
      We are not new York City,Long island or N.J.

  4. new paltz born and raised

    We Dont Want 5 Guys, We Dont Want CVS.
    i Truly Hope the Zoning For New development Gets Harder and More Costly To keep developers Out of New Paltz.

    We have all the development we want and need within the College area and that is more than enough.

    If Not new york state adding to college private deveolpers should stay out of New Paltz your not welcome by most original new paltz residents.
    We stopped Mariott at Minnewaska, we Stopped the Mall near college diner, we will stop you too!!!

  5. S.U.N.Y. New Paltz Class of 67

    New York State Needs to Fully Legalize Marijuana and New Paltz needs several Marijuana Collectives and Weed Smoking Clubs.
    Thats What New York and New Paltz Needs.

    Students Should Demand And Protest Their Right To Possess and Smoke weed At SUNY New Paltz on campus and within their dorm area that they pay rent for.

  6. Your Local Assessor

    Always some sucker left dangling? The value of the assessment is only its cost to build and the historic cost of the land. No income capitalization, which, given the absence of the proposed assessment value figure, the assessor must be computing? Tax Certiorari court for one, tax certiorari court for all commercial, that is.

  7. new paltz born and raised

    The Final Decision Is What The majority of Long Term New Paltz Residents Choose To Allow.

    Most Likely The Majority Of Long Term New Paltz People Will Vote Against Such A Horrible Ugly Modern Structure On Historic Main St New Paltz, Against 5 Guys And Against More Traffic.

    Development Beyond the College Area Will Be Very Limited And Restricted By Village Voters.

    The College Are is Where We Want Growth, Within The College Map Boundary Only, beyond that boundary would be only negative growth and more traffic.

  8. taxpayer

    Even if he gets all the approvals, we can still boycott his business until it fails and we run this greedy capitalist out of our town. Power to the People!!!!!!!!!!!!

Post Your Thoughts