Saugerties village considers zoning change to allow new townhouses

Teetsel Street (Cityblock Project)

The Saugerties village board scheduled two public hearings prior to its next meeting next Tuesday, February 19. One will propose a new scheduled for tax exemptions for seniors. The other will discuss a proposed zoning change on Teetsel Street.
The board meeting will open ten minutes early (5:20 p.m.) for the two hearings. The new table of tax exemptions for low-income seniors is designed to bring the village’s table into line with the town’s. The proposed zoning change on Teetsel Street to allow for twelve townhouse units. Current zoning allows for single-family and two-family homes, but not for attached townhouses.

The village planning board, after reviewing the proposal for the zoning change by Richard Rothe of Chestnut Hill Holding Group, pointed out a number of troubling items in the proposal. Rothe’s change of zoning on his property from B-2 (business) to R-2 would still necessitate a special-use permit for him to build townhouses in the zone, which allows only for single-family and two-family houses. When the planning board  approved a subdivision of the 2.5-acre property into six lots in 2006, it specified that only single-family homes could be built on it.

The approved plan shows the location of six single-family houses only. The applicant has not submitted a plan showing the layout of the proposed buildings. Nor has he presented a landscaping plan for the property. These plans would be necessary for approval. 


The planning board believes that the project may be inconsistent with the objectives of the B-2 and R-2 zones, as well as the R-1 zone, which the property abuts.

Prior to learning that a public hearing was required, the village board voted to deny Rothe’s application for the zone change. The zoning law does allow for an unofficial poll of the board, Trustee Jeff Helmuth said, “so we can consider that a straw poll.”

If Rothe had not indicated that he intended to go forward with the project, the hearing would have been cancelled. Village clerk Lisa Mayone said last week that Rothe had written to the board stating that he intends to go forward with his project. He provided additional details.

The tax exemption table calls for a reduction of 50 percent in the assessed value of property subject to tax for elderly or disabled residents or veterans with an annual income of $29,000 or less. The reduction is reduced by five percent for each $1000 increase in income. At incomes of more than $36,500 but less than $37,400, the reduction is per cent of the assessed value of the property. Families earning more than $36,500 would pay taxes on the full assessed value.