CATSKILL — Village trustees adopted zoning amendments Wednesday to align the village’s zoning with the new comprehensive plan.
The amendments, which address building conformity, billboards, owning livestock in the village and more, were approved after going through a series of zoning, planning and village board meetings.
One of the changes is to return West Main Street to residential zoning, Village Trustee Joseph Kozloski said.
“Years ago we had a senior housing complex that wanted to go in there,” he said. “It was rezoned to allow that to go in there. Since then we have decided it should all go back to residential.”
Some of the amendments come from past experience, Kozloski said.
“We’ve had some concerns in the past about livestock being so close to the property line,” Kozloski said. “Certain livestock could be smelly or have other problems.”
In one instance, a pig was being kept within the village, he said.
“In the past we had a pig in the village on a piece of property and with our laws the way they were, the only way we could try to have the pig removed was as a health hazard,” Kozloski said. “We had a lot of complaints from adjacent property owners with the smell and had to go to the health route to remove the pig. This will tighten up our laws to help us in the future.”
The amendments include requiring at least two acres to keep livestock and all livestock fences and structures must abide by a 20-foot setback.
Zoning Board Chairman Patrick McCulloch said the topic of livestock was likely the biggest issue that came up in the public hearings.
“People care deeply on that issue, so we are concentrating on addressing that for them,” he said.
Another topic addressed is personal property obstructing sidewalks and streets.
“We have had issues in the past when somebody’s evicted and their stuff is thrown out on the sidewalk,” McCulloch said.
The proposed amendments do not permit a landlord to place the personal property of tenants or former tenants on public streets or sidewalks. Personal property that has been placed in these areas for more than 24 hours is subject to removal by the village.
“Costs incurred in said removal and disposal shall be a tax levy placed on the subject property, with a minimum levy in the amount of one thousand dollars,” according to the amendment.
Vegetation or debris in a front yard cannot inhibit emergency access and vegetation or structures cannot interfere with pedestrian traffic.
The proposed zoning regulations also take into account the character of the community, McCulloch said.
“We’re mainly concentrated on Main Street, it’s obviously the main thoroughfare through the village and also in the historic district,” he said. “To come up with design standards for the entire village is not feasible in my opinion. Every district, street to street, the houses are different. They all have their own character and feel. It’s hard to put into black and white how we want each street to look.”
The proposed amendments would require that any new buildings or renovations to existing buildings on Main Street follow either the Italiante Building style or the Federal Building style.
Villagewide, no building can be more than one story taller than an adjoining building, according to the recommendations.
In terms of billboards, the recommendations state no billboards will be repaired or replaced. Any billboards needing repair will be removed.
The Greene County Legislature awarded the village with the 2020 Ellen Rettus Planning Achievement Award for its new comprehensive plan, which was adopted in February.