Pelham Preservation & Garden Society
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2017 Village Zoning Changes

In 2017, the village board changed the village zoning laws to create a "floating zone" that would allow 5 - 6 story residential apartment buildings throughout much of Pelham's downtown, where previously only 3-4 stories was allowed.  

The proposed "floating zone" legislation:

  •  Allows the village board to approve projects that exceed the zoning code height limit on Wolfs Lane and Lincoln Avenue from 40 feet (3 stories) to five stories (60ft) for apartment buildings and six stories (72ft) for apartment buildings where half the units are for "seniors" (at least one person is 55+);  
  • Allows the village board to approve projects that exceed the height limit on the west side of Fifth Avenue (between the train tracks and Lincoln Avenue) from 48 feet (four stories) to allow five stories (60ft) for apartment buildings and six stories (65ft) for apartment buildings where at least 80% of the units are age restricted to 55 and over;
  • Potentially waive some or all parking requirements for new apartment buildings.

The Pelham Preservation worked to find a compromise with the village on these zoning changes.  Recognizing that some elements of the current zoning law pose challenges for new development that could otherwise help revitalize the downtown and ensure its preservation and the organization worked diligently, drafting alternatives, attending multiple meetings and work sessions with the village board and recommending other ideas to encourage reasonably-scaled, smart-growth development, including townhouses and office buildings.  The organization was successful in limiting zoning changes to allow only for townhouses and not high rises at the north end of Fifth Avenue. While unsuccessful in having other alternatives adopted and maintaining the traditional height limits, the organization continues to monitor new applications to the village under the new code to determine their impact on the character of Pelham.