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Wallkill Valley TimesWalden amends zoning code

Walden amends zoning code

The first local law of the year in Walden is now on the books after the Village Board voted unanimously to approve legislation during its April 3 meeting to amend the village zoning code. Local Law No. 1 of 2018 – Abandonment of Use will now permit multi-family residences in the village that were constructed before 1958 to continue to serve their original purpose.

The legislation, which is expected to affect approximately 15 buildings in the village, will prevent multi-family dwellings that were built before zoning became effective in the village in 1958 from being classified as abandoned under the zoning code. Walden hopes the bill will allow building owners to sell the properties in question if they’re able to offer apartment units in the building instead of having to transform the sites into single-family residences.

According to the new law, for a two-family structure to qualify for the protections of the zoning change, “The structure must have been built prior to 1958; the structure must have been built as a two-family dwelling; each apartment must have a minimum usable floor space of 900 square feet or more; there must be compliance with the off-street parking requirements for each apartment.” All building must also satisfy the requirements of the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code.

Budget season is in full swing in Walden and the board set a public hearing for its proposed 2018-2019 spending plan at the council’s next meeting on April 17. The board will conduct four public budget workshop sessions on April 9, 10, 12 and 16 at 6 p.m. each evening in Village Hall in advance of the potential budget vote at the next board meeting.

Last Tuesday’s board meeting served as the initial session for newly-elected Trustees Larry Kraus and Dan Svarczkopf, and more changes were afoot during the board’s annual organizational meeting prior to the regular board meeting. With former Deputy Mayor Sean Hoffman opting not to run for re-election this spring, Walden Mayor Susan Rumbold was tasked with choosing a new deputy, and Trustee Faith Moore was announced as her pick during the session.

Rumbold said she thought Moore is the perfect person for the job. “There were numerous reasons, but mainly because of her commitment to our community through her job at OCRDAC (Orange County Rural Development Advisory Corporation) and all of the volunteerism that she does,” Rumbold said of her decision to select Moore. “I just thought that she would be a really good fit. She has to chair meetings in my stead and go to various events that I can’t get to. So I think she was a good fit and most of it was her commitment to the community.”

Moore said she gladly took the job because it can potentially allow her to make a positive impact in the village. “I chose to accept it because I feel like I can make a difference, which is the whole reason I chose to run for elected office anyway,” Moore explained. “Through my experience in the community and my personal and professional experience, I felt like I can make a difference and this appointment allows me to do that on a larger scale.”

Considering that she has only served one year so far on the board, Moore said she was caught off guard but happy when the mayor asked her to serve as her deputy. “I was extremely surprised and very humbled and grateful that she offered that,” Moore said. “I’m looking forward to serving the community.”

During the organizational meeting, the board also received new liaison assignments, as Deputy Mayor Moore will serve as the liaison to the Walden Police Department and the Justice Department, Trustee John Ramos will serve as the liaison to the Department of Recreation and Parks and the Valley Central School Board, Trustee Brian Sebring will continue to be the liaison to the Department of Public Works, Trustee Lynn Thompson will be the new liaison to the Planning and Zoning Boards and the Building Department, Trustee Dan Svarczkopf will serve as the liaison to the Village Clerk, Treasurer and the Finance Department and Trustee Larry Kraus will be the new liaison to the Town of Montgomery and the Library Board.

By Ted Remsnyder

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