nanuet TOD

Clarkstown To Consider Fewer Housing Units Around Nanuet Train Station


Plan Is Scaled Back From 750 to 500 Units

By Tina Traster

The Town of Clarkstown is preparing to move forward with a scaled-down version of the multi-use residential/commercial hub planned around the Nanuet train station in response to concerns raised by the New York State Department of Transportation.

Town officials are now reviewing a Transit Oriented Development (TOD) plan that reduces the number of market-rate housing units from 750 to 500 that will be situated in and around the train station.

Plans to include more than 400,000 square feet of new commercial space have not been changed.

“This program has taken a long time to get off the ground,” said Councilman Don Franchino. “It’s time to get it moving.”

“The town plans to cap the number of housing units at 500,” said Town Planner Joe Simoes.

The reduction of housing is aimed at appeasing concerns raised by the State Department of Transportation, which wanted more traffic studies to determine the impact on Route 59. Town officials were reluctant to spend money on more traffic studies, and they were concerned that additional studies would tack on more time to the project.

Transportation officials previously said the department “reviewed Clarktown’s Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement for the Nanuet Transit Oriented Development Zoning proposal and we do not agree with some of its assumptions, particularly regarding the potential for traffic to increase on nearby State Route 59. We suggested that those traffic estimates be recalculated.  We also suggested, as we often do, that a post-implementation study of the project be conducted to verify initial assumptions and provide a clear framework for future development.”

Simoes said taking the town is willing to take a more “conservative approach” for now.

“This program has taken a long time to get off the ground,” said Councilman Don Franchino. “It’s time to get it moving.”

If the zoning locks in the 500 units, developers wanting more housing will need to come to the town’s planning board for approvals. Alternatively, the town can amend its code to include more housing.

For now, the priority is to keep the project going forward, Simoes said.

Plans to transform the tired, run-down 38-acre section of Nanuet that circles the train station into a hub of density housing, sidewalks and retail, require a zoning change from light industrial to TOD. The zoning changes required to turn that blueprint to reality have full-blown support of both the town council and the commerce organizations.

The town council is expected to vote in May to accept the final draft of the TOD before it holds public hearings in June.

The proposed zoning allows for market-rate housing units to be clustered to the east and west of the train tracks. They will be designed to attract millennials, empty nesters, and seniors who will presumably use the “streets” to walk to restaurants, bars and shops, and to the train station. There is a shortage of affordable rental units in the township, particularly for these demographics.

See Also:

Speed Bump On Nanuet’s TOD Progress?