On September 20 and October 18, 2012 the Ancram Town Board adopted Package 3 – Zoning Revisions, which include the following revisions to the identified sections of the Town of Ancram Zoning Ordinance: Section II: Establishment of Districts-The adopted amendments designate nine zoning districts (a Residential District in each hamlet, a Business/Residential District in each hamlet, Agricultural District, Lower Rhoda Residential District, Carson Road Residential District, and a Light Industrial District) and two special districts (Floating Business District, Area of Flood Concern), plus the Scenic Corridor Overlay Zone per LL#1/2003. The amendment states the purpose for each type of district and provides an updated zoning map defining the location of each district. Section III: Use Regulations – Use regulations identify structures and activities that may or may not occur in each zoning district; or may occur subject to review, approval, or certain conditions. Adopted amendments designate 263 uses, many of which did not exist when the current ordinance was adopted in 1972. Those uses are grouped within seven categories: residential, residential accessory, residential-commercial, commercial agricultural, ag-related commercial, business, industrial, and public/civic. Consistent with Comp Plan guidance, the amended use table underscores the role of home occupations: those with low impact upon neighbors and the community are broadly permitted. Concurrently, it nudges business uses toward the hamlet business/residential districts as the hubs of commercial enterprise in the community. While protecting Ancram’s precious water supplies and the town’s agricultural priorities, the adopted use table also recognizes the value of small businesses that prosper and provides an outlet for such growth via the Floating Business District. Section IV B: Area and Bulk Regulations: Density Control Schedule – The recently adopted revised tables implement the 3 ½ acre average density in the Ag District and allow ½ acre lots in the hamlet business/ residential districts subject to adequate water and septic. The revised tables also provide lot width dimensions, setbacks, building height, and maximum lot coverage appropriate for the recommended districts. In most cases, setbacks decrease somewhat in the newly adopted table, maximum building heights generally remain the same, and maximum lot coverage increases. Section IV I: Density Bonuses – This new subsection provides incentives for preserving more than 60% of a parcel as open space, providing public access to recreational lands or facilities, and for providing residential houses or lots to be used by qualified Ancram residents who meet Town Board criteria and procedures for affordable housing. The Town Board may approve up to a 20% aggregate increase to the total unit density for the proposed project. Included in the subsection are: an explanation of how to determine the total number of units or lots that may be approved, procedures and criteria for Town Board review of applications, information to be provided by the applicant, and actions by referral agencies. Section V J: Special Use Permits – The adopted revision authorizes the Planning Board to grant or deny special uses and establishes an application and review procedure, including decision criteria. Applications that require both site plan and special use approvals must be reviewed concurrently to facilitate coordination and avoid delays. The adopted revision also addresses fees, referrals, permit expiration, permit renewal, and other features. Section VI: Non-Conforming Uses, Buildings, and Lots – The adopted amendment retains most features of the current law, but clarifies and expands these tenets. One update allows lots existing before the 3 ½ acre average density requirement and that are 3.5 to 7 acres to be subdivided into two lots. This provision complies with Comp Plan guidance at 8.9.
Copies of Package 3-Zoning Revisions are available by clicking here and at the Ancram Town Hall from the Ancram Town Clerk or the Clerk of the Planning & Zoning Boards.