Saratoga County

Village aims to make new housing fit in

The village is considering a proposed law that would require all new subdivisions of five lots or

PHOTOGRAPHER:

The village is considering a proposed law that would require all new subdivisions of five lots or more to be clustered and include publicly accessible open space.

The law would mandate that new houses be built around pieces of open space and that new houses have architectural designs similar to the existing village’s Victorian-style housing.

“We really want new development clustered, so it’s like what’s in the old part of the village,” said Mayor Dixie Lee Sacks. The proposal would require that homes in new major subdivisions be grouped close together, with at least 40 percent of the developable land set aside for public parks or other publicly accessible open space.

A public hearing on the proposed law will be held at 6:45 p.m. on July 16 at the Village Hall.

Concerns about the amount of townhouse residential development being proposed prompted the village to enact a moratorium last year that is currently scheduled to expire on Aug. 6.

The new law would encourage single-family home development over townhouses, Sacks said.

Under current law, new building lots must be at least one third of an acre. Clustering would allow the building lot to be smaller in return for the developer setting aside land for open space.

According to the draft law, construction within subdivisions of “identical or nearly identical homes is discouraged.

Houses will be required to have an open front porch. Sidewalks and other features to motivate people to walk are encouraged.

“What people love about Round Lake is that people sit on their porches and visit with each other,” Sacks said.

Round Lake, a village of about 600 people off Northway Exit 11, is noted for its concentration of Victorian-era homes. Almost all of them are located on small lots. A number of small municipal parks already dot the village.

Sacks said a separate proposal to establish architectural standards for new construction will be considered by the Village Board in July.

The Village Board is also launching an effort to formulate a villagewide open space policy to aid the village when land becomes available for public purchase.

“What parcels don’t we want any development on, and if we were able to acquire them, what would we do with them?” asked Trustee Carrie Woerner, who will head the project.

Trustee Brent Elford, village Planning Board Chairman Lance Spallholz and Village Attorney Tom Peterson will also be on the task force.

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