Now that the Village of New Paltz Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) is also a Design Review Board, trustees are exploring how to expand when a review is required by those particular volunteers. Within the two village historic districts, projects that involve new construction or changes to the exterior of buildings cannot proceed without a Certificate of Appropriateness. Mayor Tim Rogers characterizes this as “free consulting” that, if used early in the design process, can lead to projects that don’t face public opposition because they don’t seem to fit in with the surrounding community. A neighborhood does not have to be comprised of stone houses for that advice to be valuable, in the mayor’s opinion, and that’s why Rogers has explored different ways to ensure that projects outside of those two districts benefit from the same expertise.
It appears that the simplest way to accomplish that involves lifting some language from the B-2 zoning, and copying it into other parts of the zoning code. In that commercial zone, “No structure shall be demolished nor the exterior of any structure altered for commercial use” without Planning Board approval and HPC review. That’s less stringent than requiring a certificate to move forward, but it does ensure that the free consulting occurs.
A hearing on the change is scheduled for February 8.
Next month: update on the pit
Consultants for Lalo Group are scheduled to make a presentation at the February 22 New Paltz Village Board meeting, regarding the latest plans to develop the “pit” parcel adjacent to the Village Hall.
During last week’s public comment, town resident Kitty Brown lifted up that an historic home on Elting Avenue, that’s also next to the 2.4-acre parcel, is now part of the Mountain Laurel school.
When crass graffiti was discovered in the Hasbrouck Park playground at a location adults are less likely to notice it, public works staffers did what they had to in order to get it cleaned up. Mayor Rogers praised the department members for their swift and thorough action.
The playground was built with significant volunteer effort to replace an older, wooden structure that also went up in part thanks to community members pitching in.