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Six Sense Luxury Resort Denied Zoning Appeal; Six Bells Transforming Rosendale’s 1850s House Inn Into Hipster Boutique Hotel; Kingston Passes Good-Cause Eviction Law

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Proposed Six Sense Luxury Resort Denied Zoning Appeal

It seems InterContinental Hotel Group’s plans to build a massive resort in Dutchess County in the town of Hyde Park have been deep-sixed.

Six Senses, IHG’s luxury brand, planned to build a 40,000-square-foot spa, house-sized villas, a restaurant, several swimming pools and more in a property that was situated in the towns of Hyde Park and Clinton off Route 9G.

The project appears to be moribund after the town of Hyde Park’s Zoning Board of Appeals denied the developers’ application appeal again.

The project, introduced last October, would have been Six Senses’ first U.S. property. The proposal was opposed by residents who organized under Common Senses Hudson Valley (formerly Stop Six Senses), arguing its massive scale would have negatively impacted the environment and the rural character of the area. The concerned citizens’ group hired an attorney and filed several challenges to fight the project.

While most of the 236.6 acres Six Senses was seeking to develop are in Clinton, the only entrance to the site is in Hyde Park. That’s where developers sought to expand the access drives to the property following two prior denials by Hyde Park’s zoning administrator.

In the town of Clinton, developers billed the project as a conference center, a use that is permitted there — unlike hotels. Clinton’s Zoning Board of Appeals came to a resolution June 4 that partly granted and denied Six Senses’ appeal: The board agreed with its municipal code enforcement inspector in classifying the project as a conference center, but because Hyde Park had previously denied Six Senses’ use of the existing access road, the board determined the developers’ application was not in compliance with the town code, which requires access to the project site for all vehicles, including emergency vehicles.

“We hold that until such time as the Hyde Park denials are reversed pursuant to a final non-appealable decision, the Amended Application is not in conformity with the town code and cannot proceed to the Planning Board for review,” Clinton’s Zoning Board of Appeals’ June 4 decision reads.

At its June 26 meeting, Hyde Park’s Zoning Board of Appeals upheld its prior denials of the application and determined that Six Senses’ project constituted a lodging facility or commercial general use, which are not permitted in the town’s environmentally sensitive zoning area called the Greenbelt District. Developers had argued their plan in Hyde Park would be more of an event-driven camp/outdoor recreation facility.

The application appeal was denied a third time, but the Zoning Board of Appeals concluded the existing road could continue to serve the previous use of the property as a dude ranch.

Before it was sold to Six Senses in 2022, the property operated as the Old Stone Farm, also known as The Dutchess, a wedding venue and event space that occasionally hosted overnight guests.

It’s unclear if Six Senses will file an appeal and continue to pursue approvals.

Six Bells Owner Audrey Gelman Transforming 1850s House Inn in Rosendale Into Hipster Boutique Hotel

Audrey Gelman, who owns Six Bells, is about to give the 1850s House Inn in Rosendale, a new lease on life. And the expectations are robust: Gelman is the owner of The Six Bells, the country-themed Brooklyn homeware store, as well as the founder the short-lived co-working space The Wing and the celebrity adjacent hipster who inspired the Marnie Michaels character on HBO’s “Girls.”

The hotel, the Six Bells Inn, is slated to open 2025, in the three-story historic building on Rosendale’s Main Street that endeavored to bring tourists with the former inn. Plans include an 11- room inn individually decorated, and a restaurant overlooking Rondout Creek. Rooms will start at $400 a night.

The project, which has been in the works for 18 months, is Gelman’s first hospitality project.

“The hotel was put up for sale about six months ago, and I stumbled on it a few days after it had been listed,” she told the Times Union. “My development partner Jeremy Selman and I had been looking at properties for about a year at that point, but nothing had ticked all the boxes.”

Gelman is closing on the property for $1.8 million. Investors include Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky and Lerer Hippeau Ventures, a New York-based fund that has invested in Glossier, Warby Parker and Allbirds.

In recent years, the 1850 House Inn was operated by Mike Ruger and his wife Kristin Tully, who completed extensive renovations in the dilapidated building, formerly called the Astoria Hotel. Besides its 11 rooms, the 1850 House Inn had a tavern and an event space.

Ulster County continues to be a draw for hoteliers revitalizing older buildings and creating new concepts. The county has the highest volume of active Airbnbs in the state outside New York City, according to Lisa Berger, Ulster County’s tourism director.

Kingston Passes “Good Cause” Eviction Protection For Tenants

Good cause eviction is now the law in Kingston after the city’s common council unanimously passed “good-cause” eviction protections. The law is designed to define and limit, but not prohibit, landlords from terminating leases or evicting tenants.

Following Albany’s lead, Kingston became the second upstate city to pass a localized version of New York’s good-cause eviction law which was included in the passage of the New York State budget in April.

Landlords owning at least two apartment units (anywhere in the state) are subject to the law’s restrictions for those units situated in Kingston. The law also only applies to buildings built before 2009.

Lease renewals are limited to an 8.45 percent increase over the prior year’s rent.

Owner-occupied buildings of up to 10 units are exempt, as are units with rents 300% above “fair market rents” as determined by federal, state and local guidelines.

Tenants breaking the law or other terms of their lease are not protected. The law also does not prevent the filing of an eviction suit, rather the law provides tenants with defenses to evictions in court proceedings.

The law, as written, will sunset in 10 years.

In 2022, Kingston opted into the Emergency Tenant Protection Act, which applies to buildings with more than six units built before 1974. 64 properties totaling approximately 1,200 units in Kingston are included under the ETPA.

Kingston’s Rent Guidelines Board also enacted a historic 15 percent rent reduction in buildings protected by the ETPA. The Board also voted to freeze ETPA rents for one- and two-year leases beginning Oct. 1 of this year to Sept. 30, 2025.