the Proposed Zoning Law
latest print version can be picked up at the Town Hall.
OF PROPOSED PERU ZONING LAW:
The Town of Peru Zoning Update Committee, appointed
by the Peru Town Board over five years ago to revise the Town’s zoning
ordinance, is close to completing the document. This effort was really
initiated in 2003 when a larger committee began the process of
completing a Comprehensive Plan, which is
essentially a blueprint for guiding future growth and development of
the Town. The Comprehensive Plan was initiated in
response to a number of issues that had arisen over the years,
including loss of open space, increased housing starts and
subdivisions, increase in commercial development and perceived loss of
town character. The residents of the Town of Peru are blessed to live
in a community that is diverse, well organized, and pleasant in
character. The proposed zoning ordinance is a key tool to allow the
Town to protect those community values that we share in common, and to
allow the Town to continue to grow in a well planned manner.
The Zoning Update Committee was aided by the professional services of
Nan Stolzenburg of Community and Environmental Planning Associates, who
prepared a revised zoning law based on the findings and recommendations
contained in the Comprehensive Plan. The Zoning Update Committee then
began meeting in February 2008 to go over the proposed zoning law
line-by-line making revisions that we believed best met the needs and
conditions of the Town of Peru. It is important to note that the
proposed Zoning Law is based on the Comprehensive Plan, which was an
extensive effort to determine the needs and desires of the Town and was
based on considerable public input, including a town-wide survey, three
public meetings and two public hearings.
The proposed Zoning Law includes considerable changes from the existing
zoning ordinance that is little changed since the 1970s. The major
changes to the Zoning Law include:
• Establishment of entirely new zoning districts (including:
Neighborhood Commercial, Commercial, Commercial Lake, and two
Adirondack Park zones). The new districts recognize the need to
diversify our economy and tax base while being sensitive to target
commercial growth in areas able to sustain such development without
impacting residential areas; and the reality that the Adirondack Park
poses regulations that override town zoning.
• Elimination of existing zoning districts (highway commercial zone,
Rural Lands 2 & 3, Watershed One, Rural Arterial). The
elimination of these districts is being recommended to simplify the
zoning law and to remove the ability to focus commercial development
broadly along major roads throughout the town, which encourages
negative “strip” development.
• Reduced the number of Hamlet Zones from 4 to 1 to simplify the zoning
law to allow easier administration by the Planning Board and Zoning
Board of Appeals and to create a zoning law that is easier to
understand for the Peru residents.
• Creation of five overlay zones. Overlay zones are areas overlain over
existing zoning districts that provide special regulations in addition
to those of the zoning districts underneath. Overlay zones are used to
either protect special resources or allow certain types of development
across different zoning districts. It is a great tool to encourage
certain types of development or protect specific types of resources
that cut across more than one zoning district. The five overly zones
proposed include: Planned Development, Manufactured Home, Agricultural,
Reservoir Watershed, and Historic.
• Decrease the density requirement for important agricultural lands to
help protect farmland. To a great extent Peru is defined by our
beautiful and productive agricultural heritage. Unfortunately,
agricultural lands are slowly being lost, not only in Peru but
throughout the country. A significant change in the zoning includes a
provision that would protect farmland by requiring five acres of
important farm land for the development of a house instead of just one
acre, and then requiring that the housing sites be clustered on an area
of the farm least important for farming. This allows for the
development of typical housing subdivisions, but in a way that protects
the most important farmland.
• Elimination of Special Use Permit provisions and enhancement of Site
Plan Review. This will allow for easier and more thorough review by the
Town Planning and Zoning Board of Appeals Boards and, be more fair and
understandable to the citizens requesting permits.
The Zoning Update Committee have devoted a significant amount of time
to draft a Zoning Law proposal that we believe advances the
recommendations of the Comprehensive Plan, simplifies the
zoning process, and will ultimately result in the protection of the
values that Peru residents hold dear.
Rodney Brown (Chair), Adele Douglas
(Secretary), Keith Matott, Jane Brelia, Donald McBrayer, James Falvo,
Nan Stolzenburg (Consultant)