Village Edge South zoning regulations and design guidelines approved

— After nearly two years of work, proposed changes to the village zoning regulations and the establishment of design guidelines governing future development in the Village Edge South area have been unanimously approved into local law by the village board of trustees.

The result is that the 84-acre area off Route 20 currently for sale will be developed in a mixed-use capacity for business and residential, all in a manner consistent with the style and feel of the village yet flexible enough to allow developers to build as they principally envision.

“This is an outcome that will allow a considerable degree of desirable economic growth while at the same time preserving the valued qualities of the zone more effectively than the old zoning and planning for development of the area in a way that reflects and enhances the village character,” said Mayor Kurt Wheeler. “I truly believe the intent of the EHH committee’s mission was fulfilled.”

The EHH committee was formed by a resolution of the village board in March 2012 to amend the village zoning law in order to prepare VES for future development that preserves and protects the land while also allowing for smart economic growth, according to the committee’s original establishment resolution. The board has met monthly since then, held numerous public meetings and information sessions and late in 2013 hired professional planner Dan Kwasnowski, of Applied Planning, to assist in the final phase of the work.

After completing a visual preference survey of 100 village residents late last year, the committee completed the VES draft design guidelines and draft zoning amendment in early January of this year.

The design guidelines for the zone on Route 20 across from the Tops plaza plan for a “commercial core” with retail shops, a hotel and a public green space, surrounded by residential single-family houses, condominiums, town houses and possibly senior housing. The neighborhood aesthetic will be of sidewalks, front porches and landscaping. The plan also calls for a pedestrian pathway along Route 20 inside a double aisle of trees and greenery that would also act as a barrier between the road and the development.

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