Discussions continue for a three-story building on Main Street in New Paltz

Developers want to turn the former Moxie Cupcake building into a first-floor restaurant with a two-story boutique hotel with a rooftop deck and a view of the Ridge. (Photo by Lauren Thomas)

Replacing the old Moxie Cupcake building at 184 Main Street in New Paltz with a three-story restaurant and hotel with outdoor dining and roof deck is going to take some variances, including one that’s particularly difficult to obtain. New Paltz Village Planning Board members agreed to hold off on reviewing the application, reasoning that if the use variance is not approved, the application will have to be changed significantly. The use variance is for the hotel portion, which is not allowed in the B-1 limited use district.

Milton resident Violet Jamal seeks to build a twelve-room, two-story hotel atop a first-floor restaurant on the lot sandwiched between Convenient Deli and the Awareness Shop. In order to secure a use variance at the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA), Jamal must pass a four-part test. She must show that she “cannot realize a reasonable rate of return” without the hotel and that the lack of return is “substantial” according to state guidelines. This hardship must be unique to this property and not shared among other lots in the zone. Jamal must provide evidence that approving a variance to allow a hotel “will not alter the essential character of the neighborhood,” and also prove that this hardship is not self-created. Attorney Rick Golden, who advises both boards, noted that this is a difficult test to pass.


On the other hand, Planning Board member Tom Rocco reported that comments from the Historic Preservation Commission were quite positive. The architecture is intended to reflect the 19th-century aesthetic more common farther downtown, with arched windows and wrought-iron features. Planning Board members will consider the whole package if and when ZBA approval is secured for a number of requested variances. ++

There are 3 comments

  1. npz 58 yrs

    Too Close Near Historic Downtown District. They Are Trying To Get A View Of Mohonk and Mountain, Dont Let Them.

    This Is An Attempt To Start Small And They Have Other Motives. They Are Too Close to Historic Main St District.

    For Town Maybe? Not Village. Now we Understand Why New Paltz Has A Town and Village Designation Plan.

  2. npz 58 yrs

    As A Child In New This Was Jack in the Box.

    No, No, No, To a 3 Story Building Here


  3. Steven L. Fornal

    Milton resident Violet Jamal will have to prove not just that she “cannot realize a ‘reasonable return’ without the hotel” but that she cannot realize a reasonable return for each and every permitted use in that particular zoning district. Meaning, for each and every allowable use she will have to prove that selling the place for each and every use wouldn’t produce a reasonable return.

    As for substantiality of return, that could mean any amount. It does NOT mean what the applicant deems substantial. The fact that the zoning district allows for multiple uses means its virtually impossible to prove using “competent financial evidence” that a reasonable return can not be made for each and every allowable use.

    The reason Use Variances are now so difficult to get in NY is because they used to be abused by local boards that essentially had the effect of countermanding the intent of zoning restrictions. Think of it, the long drawn out process of instituting zoning– updating the Comprehensive Plan, holding public hearings, writing the code, assuring impacts were taken care of, etc etc –was being usurped by a simple majority of five member Zoning Boards of Appeal.

    Ms. Jamal might better reconsider her options.

Comments are closed.