Glenville eyes Route 5 development
A one-man campaign to turn Glenville into a contractor-friendly town could help revive a failed business corridor along Route 5, but residents wonder if it will mean more noise and more eyesores along the rural highway.
Jim Denney thinks it will mean neither. In fact, the former town councilman believes a 4.6-mile stretch of Route 5 could become a vibrant and beautiful commercial corridor if the town rezones it properly. And after several years of unsuccessful calls to town officials, a presentation to the Town Board this spring and a public hearing last week, it looks like the town may do just that.
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It all began a few years ago when Denney, owner of a concrete raising and repair company, wanted to open a contractor’s yard in Glenville but found it to be next to impossible.
“Glenville essentially said, through its codes and zoning, that if you’re a contractor, you’ve got to go into an industrial park,” he said. “And that’s just really not an appropriate place to put contractors.”
Industrial parks are better suited for heavy industry and companies with very specific infrastructure needs, said Denney. In addition, local park owners were asking prices that most contractors just aren’t able to afford, he said.
After much consideration and debate, the board is now considering revising the town’s zoning code to create a new zoning district known as “highway commercial” along a stretch of Route 5. It would expand the definition of a contractor’s yard, while at the same time imposing a slew of regulations designed to assuage resident concerns.
The new district would allow for a hybrid of commercial and light industrial uses, such as a contractor’s yard, commercial recreation facilities, research and development facilities and more. A contractor’s yard would be allowed only after a site-plan review and be subject to regulations that limit the visibility of equipment and materials on the site.
Three specific areas along Route 5 would be rezoned, opening 71 parcels of land for a variety of land uses. One is a stretch between Rector and Stone Arabia roads currently zoned for professional/residential uses. Another is the northern side of the highway between Stone Arabia Road and a point about one-fifth of a mile west of Bridge Street (Route 103) currently zoned for general business. The last area is a stretch on both sides of the road between Waters and Wolf Hollow roads also currently zoned for general business.
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