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Utica Mayor introduces new zoning ordinance

The City of Utica and the Utica Harbor Point Development Corporation on Monday announced a request for proposals develop a more than 17-acre site on the northeast edge of Utica’s Harbor Point. Proposals are due by 5 p.m. on July 27. (Adam Rombel / BJNN file photo)

UTICA, N.Y. — Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri has unveiled a measure that would update the City of Utica’s zoning ordinance.

The proposal would bring the City’s zoning “more in line” with its master plan which was adopted in 2011.

Some of the changes and updates in the proposed ordinance would include “simplified language” that incorporates more graphics to make zoning regulations easier to understand for developers and particularly for ESL (English as a second language) residents.

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It would also reduce the number of zoning districts from 19 to 10.

The proposal would regulate neighborhood convenience stores through a license/permit process as opposed to zoning. That would give Utica “greater ability” to police and enforce regulations.

The new ordinance would incorporate “more modern” zoning uses such as brewpubs, dog-daycare facilities, and large solar farms and solar accessories that aren’t addressed in the city’s current zoning

At the request of Palmieri, the ordinance includes language on expanded public notice that the Common Council had approved late last year. The language ensures formal notification of neighbors who are within 200 feet of any site for which the planning board will be conducting a preliminary site plan review.

Adopting such an ordinance involves “many steps,” Palmieri’s office said.

The Common Council and City of Utica Planning Board must schedule separate public hearings. Only after the Common Council and planning board conduct their respective public hearings can lawmakers adopt any proposed changes.

“As our city has grown over the past several years, it is important that our zoning ordinance reflects the positive changes that have been made in our community,” Palmieri said in a statement. “I look forward to working with the Common Council and residents in the coming months to update our zoning map and help facilitate continued economic development.”

 

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