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Potsdam village officials vote to re-zone Outer Elm Street property

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POTSDAM - New high-end residential housing may be headed to Potsdam in the near future after village officials voted this week to re-zone property on Outer Elm Street the proposed location for the development effort.

The village board held a public hearing last month to discuss the re-zoning proposal, but were forced to table the decision until hearing back from the St. Lawrence County Planning Board.

Property owner Ron Page is looking to build multiple one-family and two-family dwellings at the location.

“Basically we’re looking into doing a townhouse/duplex single-family and two-family dwellings that would be for sale and for rent,” Mr. Page said in June. “We’ll be hiring all local people, local contractors and using local building companies for materials that we supply. Everything will be done within the village of Potsdam, which creates jobs and retains jobs and creates economic development.”

The re-zone will change the designation from BLI-3 (Business Light Industrial) to R-3.

The work will be a three- or four-phase project depending on the site plan review.

Mr. Page has been working with architect Brooks Washburn on the project planning.

“We’ve worked with (Potsdam Planning and Development Director Fred J. Hanss’) office and with the village and there’s a way that in the village certain kinds of uses are starting to find a home. That side of Potsdam is slowly developing into the more residential side,” Mr. Washburn said.

Mr. Hanss said that the previous zoning designation has not seen the level of development that the village had hoped for.

“First of all, the zoning classification that existed was really designed for light industrial development, and we have not seen the level of that that would justify locking up the property and it frankly isn’t working out the way we thought it would,” he said.

Mr. Hanss re-emphasized that the higher-end residential housing is something that he supports.

“It just seems to make sense to look at the zoning classification and when we have an opportunity to put that property into good use, we need to take advantage of that,” he said Tuesday.

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