Chatham tweaks well-tweaked village zoning plan

CHATHAM–The Village Board held a public hearing on the proposed updated zoning law before the regular meeting Thursday, April 12. Mayor Tom Curran said that this public hearing was one of at least three the board would hold before adopting the updated law. Members of the committee that reviewed and revised the village zoning ordinance based on the updated village Comprehensive Plan attended the meeting as well as a few members of the public.

Committee members reviewed the new zoning map, which has very few changes from the current map, and the definitions in the zoning law. Committee member Lael Locke said that some definitions were edited, some were combined to make a new definition and some were added – like a definition for farmers’ market and food trucks. There is also a definition for a “bed & breakfast establishment” which is a “dwelling unit in a single-or-two-family home that is occupied by a full-time resident.”

Committee member Brin Quell said that when the committee was looking at the zoning law, they were thinking about how things have changed in the village since the last time the law was updated, and what village residents might want in 10 years.

The committee presented the changes to the Village Board in May of 2017. The Village Attorney Ken Dow, who was not at the public hearing last Thursday, reviewed the changes and made a few changes of his own, which he presented to the board at a meeting in February. At the February meeting, Mr. Dow told the board the zoning changes were “in pretty good shape.”

The Village Board did not schedule a second public hearing on the changes. The updated zoning law will not go into effect until it is approved by the Village Board.

The Comprehensive Plan was updated in 2015.

Information about the zoning law updates are on the village website at

At the regular meeting:

• The board accepted the resignation of Jon Morrell from the Zoning Board of Appeals. The board will be advertising for the position

• The board approved issuing bid requests for work to pave Payn Avenue from Elm Street to Route 66. “The road is getting beat up,” said Phil Genovese, from the village Department of Works. Mr. Genovese also asked the board to seek bids for a new truck for the DPW and to find out the cost of water piping and fittings. “The price of steel is going up,” Mr. Genovese said at the meeting. He told the board that there is a little money left in the DPW budget and that he would like to use it to purchase steel pipes before the price goes up. He also said that he had budgeted for a new truck costing about $80,000 in this year’s budget. The new village budget will start on June 1

• The board is moving forward with foreclosing on the Zeissett property on Hudson Avenue (Route 66). Mayor Curran said that the village Building Inspector had deemed the house unsafe. The village has asked the county to foreclose on some other properties, but the village must do the legal work on this property since the current owner “has paid her county taxes,” according to Mayor Curran

• Village Clerk Debra Meyers read a letter from state Public Service Commission saying that the commission is sponsoring a series of public statement hearings regarding the March 2018 winter storms and resulting power outages. There was a hearing scheduled at Columbia-Greene Community College on April 17. Information about the hearings can be found at under the case number 18-00618. According the letter, comments can be submitted at the website; in writing to the secretary, Kathleen H. Burgess, at ; by mail to: Secretary Burgess, Department of Public Services, Three Empire Plaza, Albany, NY 12223-1350; or by calling 1-800-335-2120. Comments are requested by May 22

The board will hold a special meeting Thursday, April 26 at noon to approve the final budget for 2018-19.

The next regular board meeting will be Thursday, May 10 at 7 p.m. in the Tracy Memorial/Village Hall.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email

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