Gloversville eyes law limiting units in new dwellings

GLOVERSVILLE – City officials are considering a law that would limit the number of units in new multiple-family dwellings in residential areas.

The nine-month moratorium on new multiple-family dwellings being built in residential districts expired Wednesday.

City officials said rather than extend the moratorium, they were considering the proposed local law – presented Tuesday – which would provide a more permanent solution.

“The Common?Council believes that it is in the best interests of the city for new multiple-family dwellings to have no more than four dwelling units for buildings within [residential areas]” the proposed law says.

City Attorney Anthony Casale previously told the city council the Blight Committee was proposing the option, which would modify the city’s zoning law.

The changes have to be reviewed by the county and city planning boards.

The council made a motion Tuesday night for both parties to review the changes. The council also made a motion to hold a public hearing on the proposed change at its next meeting July 9.

The moratorium prohibited new multiple-family dwellings in residential districts, but the city still can allow new apartments on the second- or third- floors of businesses in the downtown area.

Mayor Dayton King previously said city residents have told him they don’t want more projects like the Kinderhook affordable-housing project recently built in the north end of the city.

Apartment concern

Recreation Commission Member Jean Chain spoke during the public session Tuesday. She said the city may be acting too quickly by preventing new housing from being built in the city.

“I believe doing this is very shortsighted,” Chain told the council. “There is a major lack of quality apartments in Gloversville.”

Chain said some elected officials have stated they believe if other apartments are kept out of the city, it will get those already renting space to improve their property.

However, Chain said she doesn’t believe that is the case.

“If there is no competition amongst the current landlords with future development, the current landlords have no reason to fix up their properties,” Chain said.

Chain said people often blame the lack of work as a reason to leave the city. While that may be true for some, she said, the lack of quality apartments also is a contributing factor.

“Not everyone wants to live in an apartment that is in a home that is 110 years old,” Chain said. “Some want new apartments with certain amenities such as pools, central air, playgrounds and fitness centers. We have to grow and change with the times if we want to bring in new residents and keep our young people here.”

“I believe not allowing new, quality apartment complexes will be another nail in Gloversville’s coffin,” she added.

Levi Pascher can be reached by email at