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Kingston passes new zoning code that address affordable housing crisis

Aug 03, 2023 12:58 pm

Phillip Pantuso reports in the Times Union that Kingstons Common Council on Aug. 1 unanimously approved a new citywide zoning code changing how homeowners, developers, and pedestrians use land in the historical city during an affordable housing crisis. Kingston Mayor Steven Noble signed the new zoning code into law on Aug. 2. Noble predicted that the new code, "will encourage incremental growth and smart development across the city while preserving our open spaces. Crucially, this code reform will reduce barriers to the creation of new housing at every level and will help us combat the housing crisis,” and said it is “arguably the most significant land-use decision to be passed by the Common Council since the adoption of Kingston’s current zoning code in the 1960s.” The new code legalizes accessory dwelling units, such as backyard cottages and “in-law units;” and allows multi-family duplexes, townhouses, and live-work housing types. Bartek Starodaj, the city’s director of housing initiatives, said, “Kingston is pretty much built out.... So you need to have a zoning code that reflects the type of flexibility that you would need to actually build within established neighborhoods.” The entire state has an affordable housing crisis, and very few municipalities have passed laws or regulations to address the situation or build new housing. Read more about this story in the Times Union.

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