Story by Katie Bisaro
The local law establishing a Village Local Residency Card program, enacted by the Village Board of Trustees in October of this year, was slated to take effect on Wed., Jan. 15 but may be delayed by a few days while some details in the language of the law are reviewed and amended.
The Local Residency Card will be made available to all residents of the Village of Warwick aged 14 and up with a $10 fee for all applicants, children and adults.
Text of Local Law Needs Revision
As the law reads now, an applicant must provide proof of residency in the Village of Warwick, showing the applicant’s name and address, such as a local property tax, utility bill or insurance bill “dated not less than six (6) months prior to the date of the application for the Local Residency Card.”
The Board of Trustees discussed the language of this clause at its regular Board meeting on Mon., Dec. 16 and determined that the time frame requirement should read “not more than” six months prior to the date of the application rather than “less than” so that the proof is more recent.
In order to correct this wording, the law must be amended. This requires an introduction of the amended local law as well as a public hearing. As a result, the start date will have to be pushed back in order accommodate the scheduling of the meetings to make the changes. The amended version of the local law will be introduced in January at which time a public hearing will be set.
Alfredo Pacheco, an advocate for the Local Residency Card, spoke at the end of the meeting and commented that potential applicants for the cards have waited almost two years for the program to be approved; he didn’t see a problem in the small delay while the details are ironed out.
Village Receives Grant for ADA Walkway
The Village of Warwick has been awarded funds from an Orange County Community Development Block Grant in the amount of $50,000 for the purpose of building an American With Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant walkway in Stanley-Deming Park.
Board Considers Proposed Zoning Changes
The Board of Trustees discussed two proposed zoning changes that have been requested in the Village of Warwick.
Warwick Feed & Grain on Elm St.
Local architect Joseph Irace would like to purchase the property located at 15 Elm St., the old Warwick Feed & Grain facility. He has proposed renovating the Feed & Grain building for office space with an apartment above for his own use. Additionally, for the remainder of the property, Irace has proposed a 12,000 sq. ft. building that would have 12 one-bedroom apartments, all with their own private walk-up entrances.
In order to develop the property in this way, the zoning for that property would have to be changed from Light Industrial (LI) to Central Business (CB) to accommodate the type of business and residences proposed. Irace has been working with the Village Engineer and Village Attorney on whether that zone change allowing “mixed use” (office and residential) is possible under the Village’s Comprehensive Master Plan.
There were also concerns as to whether the zone change would be considered “spot zoning.” According to a letter from the Village Attorney, concurring with the Village Engineer, the land is “largely surrounded by lands zoned ‘LI’,” however it also “borders lands that are ‘CB’ in the north across West St.” and therefore would not necessarily be “spot zoning.”
The Village Board has given “favorable feedback” regarding the zone change and later in the meeting, passed a motion introducing a local law for the enactment of the zone change as requested by Irace Architecture regarding the property at 15 Elm St. “upon submission by Irace of an application to the Village Planning Board for land use approvals” along with an Environmental Assessment Form under the State Environmental Quality Review Act.
Brian Singer, owner and developer of property located at 4 Overlook Dr., is seeking a zone change for this property from Residential District to Office Overlay. He started this process back in 2017.
Village Attorney Stephen Gaba explained that the Village Board could consider the law once certain issues with the property (unspecified at the meeting) were addressed and signed off on by the Village Building Inspector. Once that has been accomplished, the Village Board can begin the process of introducing the zone change and holding a public hearing while Singer requests approval from the Planning Board.
Dam Inspection, Water Report
The Village of Warwick received a letter from the New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) regarding an inspection conducted on the Village Reservoir Dam.
Trustee Barry Cheney reported that the inspection was overall very good and the results have shown improvement since the last inspection in 2017. Cheney noted that the Village has been diligent in paying close attention to the requirements of maintaining Village infrastructure. A copy of the full report is available at the Village Clerk’s office.
The Board also provided a comprehensive water system report listing accomplishments for 2019 and outlining plans for 2020.
Among the things accomplished in 2019, the Village updated its Emergency Response Plan to also include cyber security; dams were inspected and maintained; a pump was replaced at the Galloway Pump Station; a feasibility evaluation was conducted for the reservoir storage tank replacement; several repairs, valve replacements and other maintenance tasks were completed across the system. All hydrants were flushed and painted, several were replaced or repaired.
For 2020 several projects are proposed, all pending availability of funding, including the design and construction of a treatment system for Well #3; construction of a water main connection from Campbell Rd. to Oakland Ave.; and preparing an engineering design for the River St. water main extension. Several of the projects planned for 2020 are already included in the 2019-20 fiscal year budget.
The next meeting of the Village of Warwick Board of Trustees will take place on Mon., Jan. 6 at 7:30 p.m. at Village Hall, located at 77 Main St. in Warwick.