Amsterdam’s Zoning Update Committee will meet on June 1, 2011, at 6PM in the Council Chamber at City Hall to go over the last proposed zoning changes. The committee reintroduced the controversial City Historic District after convincing argument from City Historian Robert von Hasseln, who also provided guidance on its governance.
The arduous process of physically updating the ordinance and creating maps was primarily carried out by The Montgomery County Department of Planning and Economic Development who had to deal with contemptuous committee members like me. After an organizational meeting in October of 2009, County Planners Doug Greene, Ken Rose and Randy Siver (who was laid off this year by Montgomery County Legislators) met monthly for over a year to hammer out the details.
The Zoning Update Committee members mainly consisted of Mayor Ann Thane, Alderman William Wills, Corporation Council Gerard DeCusatis, Bob DiCaprio, Gerald Skrocki, Todd Fabozzi, Doug Landon and Bill Murphy. There were brief appearances by Fabiola Dayian and Mark Capone. Victor Giulianelli, CEO of St Mary’s Hospital attended with the hospital attorney when the committee debated changes that affected the hospital.
Some issues gave way to heated debate and soliloquy and it was not always obvious when we did or didn’t have a consensus because of sporadic attendance. The public meetings held last November and December were poorly attended as most people (including myself) had little knowledge of exactly what zoning entailed. I did get an education both in zoning and local government through this process and I am grateful to Mayor Thane for appointing me to this committee.
After the June 1st meeting, the plan is to the Common Council for a their review, a public meeting along with reviews by the City Planning Commission and County Planning Board. Notice then needs to be sent to surrounding municipalities and a state environmental quality review done.
Download the entire draft by clicking on the following link:
Previous blog entry with links to all of the Zoning Update documents can be found here.