Posts Tagged With: montgomery county planning

Amsterdam’s Proposed Zoning Update


Current Zoning Map

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:

Zoning Ordinance Update


Previous blog entry with links to all of the Zoning Update documents can be found here.


Categories: Amsterdam, historic preservation, Law | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Amsterdam’s Ward Population 2010

Montgomery County Planning Department has just finished compiling the 2010 Ward populations for the City of Amsterdam. It looks like the 4th Ward has some boundary trimming to do as it is over the mean population of 3,724. Wards 3 and 5 need to increase their Ward boundaries to achieve the equitable population distribution.

According to the Amsterdam City Charter, the Common Council has three months to come up with the adjusted boundaries.  This is especially important for the upcoming City elections later this year.

Let’s see how our current elected officials respond to this Charter mandate. This simple task should prove their worthiness for reelection.

Mayor Thane has already bottomed out by suggesting this task be accomplished by some college students. The Mayor carelessly spent $4,000. of taxpayer money for Christmas lights on Main Street and another $800. for window decorations for the Winter mixer but has not suggested hiring a professional to redraw Ward boundaries.

April 6, 2011 The Daily Gazette – article by Ed Munger

Mayor Ann Thane on Tuesday said she is waiting for numbers from the Census Bureau to determine what changes might need to be made. She said she is considering getting students at local colleges, such as Union College or the College of Saint Rose, involved in a project to get it done while getting some experience in government. “I think it would be good for them,” the mayor said.


Changing her tune in Tuesday’s paper the Mayor makes the following statement:

April 12, 2011 The Recorder – article by Jessica Maher

“I think this might be a very good opportunity to invite the council to work collaboratively to establish the new lines,” said Mayor Ann Thane. “I think it’s important to know why, so that you can plan for the future, so we’ll be looking at that,” she said. “It should be a very interesting discussion.” It’s all a discussion the mayor thinks can be handled by the Common Council, calling it a job they were elected to do.

The job should go to Montgomery County Planning Department who are already on top of this important challenge.

Categories: Amsterdam, Law | Tags: , , , ,

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