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. ++