Friday, 28 October 2016 16:47

Notes From City Hall

Affordable Housing Following initial discussions with the city Planning Board in September, members of Sustainable Saratoga were set to return to City Hall and meet with the board this week regarding the SPA Housing Ordinance – a proposal for “inclusionary zoning” first floated a decade ago, but never brought to a vote by the City Council. The proposal would require new housing developments and apartment complexes across the city to include some units deemed affordable to people with lower to moderate incomes. The number of designated affordable units per project would vary from 10 percent for low-income households to 20 percent for moderate-income households. To compensate developers, the program would allow them to increase the density of housing projects by up to 20 percent. The inclusionary-zoning proposal will be sent back to the City Council after the city and county planning boards complete their reviews of the proposal. The council may then schedule public hearings on the plan. Upcoming Meetings The City Council will host a 7 p.m. meeting at City Hall on Tuesday, Nov. 1. The pre-agenda meeting will take place Monday, Oct. 31 at 9:30 a.m. The Design Review Commission will host a 7 p.m. meeting at City Hall on Wednesday, Nov. 2. Beyond City Hall – Code Blue In these pages last week, we told you exclusively about the Salvation Army’s decision to not host the Code Blue emergency shelter for a third winter season. The emergency shelter will open at Soul Saving Station, on Caroline and Henry streets, as early as Nov. 1. The official statement from the Salvation Army in Saratoga County, issued this week, reads in part: “The Salvation Army corps building at 27 Woodlawn Avenue is not structurally designed to continue established Salvation Army programs and ministries and host the Code Blue Shelter during the winter season,” said Major Steven Lopes, chief executive officer of the Capital Region Salvation Army. “We understand that this is a difficult situation,” said Lieutenant Bree Barker, pastor and administrator of the Saratoga Springs Salvation Army. “As members of the community, as well as a member of the advisory board for Code Blue, we will do all that we can, without jeopardizing our core programs, to help. To that end, we have told Code Blue that we will extend our breakfast program during the week until 10 a.m. on weekdays and add a breakfast on Sundays as well for those who seek shelter this winter. We will also work with Code Blue to make showers available to Code Blue participants on a regular basis. And we will be offering the use of our clothes washer and dryer for those who can make use of this service.” Code Blue Saratoga held its own forum at the Saratoga Springs Public Library Tuesday. The event was attended by about 50 people and Shelters of Saratoga Executive Director Michael Finocchi – the lead agent who oversees Code Blue – re-iterated that the new temporary space at Soul Saving Station has ample space to house people who otherwise would be living on the streets. Finocchi also read through a long list of potential Code Blue venues explored during a four-month period, but which did not prove successful for a variety of reasons – scheduling conflicts and financial considerations among them. Those sites included: the Lincoln Baths, the West Side Elks club, NYRA’s womens dormitory, the former Spa City diner building on South Broadway, the state Military Museum on Lake Avenue, the Saratoga Music Hall, and the former Informz building. This year, the shelter will institute a curfew - set for 11 p.m. – for the first time, Finocchi added. The emergency shelter will open at times when the temperature dips below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Citizen Preparedness Program On Nov. 2 At Maple Avenue Middle School “Citizen Preparedness for Families” - a program presented by the National Guard to provide basic information on how to prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters or emergencies – will take place at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 2 at Maple Avenue Middle School. Since 2010, New Yorkers have experienced the devastating impact of hurricanes, tropical storms, tornadoes, floods and blizzards. This presentation has been designed to provide knowledge of how to reduce the impact of disasters and emergencies on families and communities. The event is free and no registration is required. Last month, the city of Saratoga Springs adopted its own Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan, which you can read about here:
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