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Altamont mulls multi-family housing

Mayor James Gaughan said he understands many village residents are opposed to multi-family zoning. The village board supports it, though, and Gaughan said the number of people who turned out for Tuesday, Dec. 13, board meeting to express their concerns is an example of why Altamont has stayed true to its unique character.

In October, the board first began looking at the issue of zoning for multi-family housing, which would allow developers in the area to build apartment complexes and condo-type structures.

Gaughan said the board is looking at changing the designations on a parcel of land on Bozenkill Road at the edge of the village so that large subdivisions can be done while preserving as much open space as possible. The portion of the land that would remain under the multi-family zoning is located on the smaller parcels within the village.

Gaughan said the plan is in part a result of work by the comprehensive planning committee, whose intention was to create a clustered heterogeneous development with dedicated green space.

"This is something that the planning committee has carefully reviewed and considered," said board trustee Dean Whalen.

Gaughan said condominiums and apartments that could be built under multi-family zoning would be beneficial to senior citizens, singles and couples without children.

The majority of concerns expressed by residents include increased traffic, use of village resources such as water, and the possibility of the units not being financially beneficial to the taxpayers.

Village resident Joseph Dover asked the board to refrain from choosing the current zoning.

"Why isn't leaving the village alone an option?" asked Dover.

Gaughan said that right now, many apartment dwellers live in Victorian homes that have been renovated. Gaughan also said the board has long believed there is a need for apartments that offer new amenities but are still reasonably priced.

The area that the board will most likely keep as multi-family zoning is in the area of Maple Avenue and Main Street and is in close proximity to the services and businesses in the village. The thought is this would help to alleviate traffic concerns and would also be attractive to senior citizens.

The village will continue the public hearings at the Jan. 8 meeting.""

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