A friend who is far better informed than I am regarding the details of planning sent me some corrections and additional information regarding the Racino’s (I will always think of them as the Racino rather than Saratoga Casino Hotel). This person told me he was surprised that this proposal had enough legs to be even under consideration. This person told me that the way the Racino is attempting to have the property rezoned would be so broad that they could make the whole thing a parking lot. This is one of the reasons the Planning Board unanimously rejected the project.
In order to construct their project they must amend both the city’s comprehensive plan (text and map) and the city’s zoning (text and map).
The current comprehensive plan’s text defines what a “Residential Neighborhood” is and what “Equine and Related Facilities” are. The Racino needs to get the city to change the designation of this area from Residential Neighborhood to Equine and Related Facilities
Here is the definition for “Residential Neighborhood-1 (RN-1) and Residential Neighborhood-2 (RN-2)
Residential Neighborhood -1 (RN-1) and Residential Neighborhood- 2 (RN-2) The Residential Neighborhood-1 and Residential Neighborhood-2 designations are characterized by single family residential uses with moderate density two family. While a mix of housing types is present, these areas retain the basic character of single-family neighborhoods, such as front and rear yards, driveways, and garages. Small, neighborhood-scale commercial uses may currently exist to complement the residential uses. RN-1 Note: The maximum density is 3.5 Units/Acre. RN-2 Note: The maximum density is 7 Units/Acre.
Here is the definition for “Equine and Related Facilities”:
Equine and Related Facilities (EQ) The Equine and Related Facilities designation includes areas utilized by the equine industry and supporting facilities. Such areas include, but are not limited to, the thoroughbred race track, harness track, stables, racing museum, sales barns, parking and feed stores. This designation represents a significant contribution to the City’s tourism economy. This designation is also envisioned to allow for supporting facilities such as employee housing and businesses that are essential to the equine industry’s sustainability and future success in the City. Uses and design within this designation must be sensitive to the surrounding neighborhoods.
The current zoning describes “Rural Residential” and “Institutional – Horse Track Related’. The Racino needs to change the zoning from Rural Residential to Institutional – Horse Track Related
The intent of “Rural Residential” reads:
To provide low density residential and agricultural uses in order to preserve open space and a rural character. Limiting topography, soil condition, slopes and lack of public infrastructure also warrant the low densities.
The intent of “Institutional Horse Track Related” reads:
To accommodate uses that supplement and complement the horse track operations,
Here is the information this person sent me:
Comprehensive Plan Map Amendment: Applicant is seeking to change the 2015 Comp Plan designation of this site from “Residential Neighborhood-1 (RN-1)” (single family uses at max density of 3.5 units/acre) to “Equine & Related Facilities”.
Comprehensive Plan Text Amendment: Applicant is seeking to change the 2015 Comp Plan text description of the “Equine &Related Facilities” land use category to allow multi-family residential uses.
Zoning Map Amendment: Applicant is seeking to change the current zoning map for this site from “Rural Residential” (low density residential max density of 0,5 units/acre) to “Institutional – Horse Track Related”.
Zoning Text Amendment: Applicant is also seeking a text amendment that would allow multi-family residential use in the Institutional – Horse Track Related zoning district.
Greenbelt: The site is NOT in the greenbelt. The 2015 Comp Plan (on page 61) defines the “greenbelt” as those areas within the Country Overlay District Map. The site is NOT within the boundaries of the Country Overlay District.