Schenectady County

Rotterdam town board tackles multi-family dwellings, town office move at first meeting

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ROTTERDAM — Residents will have an opportunity to voice their opinions Feb. 9 on whether the town should implement a moratorium on multi-family dwellings.

During the board’s first meeting of the year Saturday, newly installed Town Supervisor Mollie Collins introduced a law on the moratorium in her agenda. This comes as developers have requested zone changes in order to build apartments. Many residents have voiced concerns over the last few months about one particular application for an apartment complex on Curry Road.

The moratorium would be in place for a year and any applications that come forward anyway would be subject to a $250 fee. 

“There is no requirement that the board require a payment of an application fee, but that is included there,” said Town Attorney Jonathon Tingley. 

Deputy Supervisor Charles “Jack” Dodson said the fee should be $250. 

Board Member Samantha Miller-Herrera said $250 could be a high amount for some town residents.

“I think it’s something we should be discussing in our agenda session before we come up here and vote on it,” she said.

However, Board Member Joe Mastroianni said the fee wasn’t high for developers looking to build an apartment complex.

“No, but for someone who wants to convert their property to a two-family home so that their mother can live next door, $250 is expensive on top of the additional fees,” Miller-Herrera said.

She said she would have rather had the discussion surrounding fees at an agenda meeting so all town board members had time to ask questions and be on the same page.

Mastroianni said he believes the fee would cover administrative costs.

The board voted 3-2 to hold the hearing.

Evan Christou voted no, saying he is opposed to moratoriums. Miller-Herrera also voted no.

Town office move

The board also voted unanimously to have Collins negotiate and enter into a contract with engineering firm Barton & Loguidice to review the cost analysis of moving the town office to the old Kmart space in the ViaPort.

“I’m thinking six years ago I’m getting involved in all this and I just couldn’t understand why our town facilities had little work done on them or why we were still in them,” Dodson said. “I’ve never been opposed to evaluating this whole process.”

Dodson said he doesn’t believe the town has ever had the opportunity to participate in what he called a “monumental” move.

Dodson said more information regarding the move has come out but is not adequate to make the decision.

However, previous Town Supervisor Steven Tommasone already signed a contract to move into the space.

Christou said he believes Barton & Loguidice will concur with the past administration’s decision to move. Miller-Herrera said she didn’t think the board should spend money on this, citing the review could be done internally.

“However, if this is what helps the new board members to have faith that this move is the fiscally prudent way to proceed on behalf of the town, I agree with Mr. Christou that I have faith in the engineering firm that they will provide adequate analysis,” Miller-Herrera said.

Categories: News, Schenectady County

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