ALTAMONT — Curry Patta, a brand new Pakistani restaurant, is ready to greater than double in measurement after the Altamont Planning Board at its Monday assembly accredited an modification to the special-use allow of the plaza through which the restaurant is housed.
Since Altamont Corners is owned by Jeff Thomas, the constructing addition was an modification to the prevailing special-use allow he holds on the plaza, not the allow of Nadia Raza, the proprietor of Curry Patta.
However Raza would nonetheless have to return again earlier than the board for an modification to her allow to permit for outside leisure in addition to to enlarge the restaurant into the brand new addition.
The now-1,200-square-foot restaurant would obtain a 1,470-square-foot enclosed addition together with a wood deck and stone patio that, taken collectively, would add about 1,500 sq. ft to the challenge.
Public listening to
The March 22 assembly was additionally a public listening to on the growth of Altamont Corners, a plaza on the nook of Predominant Road and Altamont Boulevard within the village.
Everybody who spoke through the public-comment interval was in favor of the challenge, however Michelle Viola-Straight was the primary to broach the subject of music, which turned the problem of the night time.
At last month’s meeting, planning board member John Hukey wished to learn about reside music that might be performed on the restaurant.
Donald Cropsey, talking on behalf of Thomas, stated through the February assembly that he had spoken with Thomas, who advised him there could also be “jazz music inside” the restaurant, mild music, maybe a jazz trio on the deck, “cultural music according to the kind of meals that’s being bought.”
Cropsey continued, “However I don’t imagine that it’s going to be loud, obtrusive music.” Hukey wasn’t questioning what was Cropsey was saying, he stated, however he wished to know what Raza was really going to finish up doing, “if we don’t have one thing in place to have a say about it.”
That could possibly be addressed on the public listening to in March, Cropsey had stated final month — it wasn’t — including he may get extra details about the kind of reside leisure on the restaurant — he didn’t.
On the March 22 assembly, Viola-Straight stated, “I feel having a dialogue open concerning the noise ordinance, that might be undoubtedly a place to begin. To place limitations on a enterprise like that, it undoubtedly would undoubtedly harm.”
She went on, referring to a now-closed restaurant on Predominant Road with an out of doors patio, “Prior to now, Veronica’s has had any individual there enjoying a guitar. Again within the day, Desolation Studio had any individual there, they’d bands there, and they might play like two- and three-man bands, and have some reside leisure. The park has leisure; the library does. It’s one thing that individuals are undoubtedly craving.”
She continued, “And I feel, should you began a dialogue, there would undoubtedly be a cheerful medium in there with some conversations of how you may permit this to occur, the way it wouldn’t intrude on any of the neighbors [and] wouldn’t impede on anyone’s rights and privilege to residing a quiet way of life. However it could undoubtedly be an asset. And it could be a travesty to restrict the property and say, ‘Effectively, you are able to do the whole lot, however you’ll be able to’t have a man with a guitar.’”
Chairwoman Deb Hext responded, “That’s undoubtedly not our intent.”
Village legal professional Allyson Phillips famous that the planning board accredited Curry Patta for a special-use allow in order that Raza may “begin the enterprise earlier than and whereas [the Thomas] software and evaluation was ongoing for the constructing growth.”
“I don’t suppose that the board has any subject or jurisdiction with respect to somebody enjoying music contained in the constructing or contained in the restaurant house,” Phillips stated. “The query turns into a land-use query when that leisure or outside music or amplified noise is outdoors. And it’s acquired then the potential to have an effect on neighboring properties.”
Phillips stated there had been discussions about music courting again to November of final yr however, if there’s going to be a proposal for outside leisure or music, she stated, “it’s acquired to be a part of an software; it’s acquired to be a part of a proposed use” that comes earlier than the planning board, which could be reviewed as a part of a special-use allow.
Phillips stated the Altamont Corners growth software didn’t give the sort of particulars Viola-Straight had talked about akin to the kind of outside leisure or music that might be supplied or the hours it could be performed, all of which had been vital for the general public to know.
Though, on the Altamont Corners’ February special-use allow software, the challenge narrative stated, “Stay tradition leisure is anticipated which may embrace for instance Friday night time Jazz.” No different specifics got.
The draft resolution approving the addition to the plaza that was posted online this past Friday doesn’t allow music as a part of the growth as a result of the members understood it was on Raza to return again earlier than the board for an modification on her special-use allow to enlarge her restaurant, at which level she would supply for the board an outline of “how outside music or leisure would match inside that enlarged use,” Phillips stated.
“I don’t suppose it’s uncommon that the owner did not embrace that stage of element on this software,” she stated, as it could be Raza who would have all the very particular data the board wants. It’s simply that an software needs to be given to the planning board with the particular data for its evaluation, Phillips stated.
“I don’t suppose it’s this board’s intent to ban some sort of outside leisure or outside music … offered we are able to evaluation it and decide it’s acceptable and gained’t have a destructive influence,” Phillips stated.
Dangerous for enterprise
Jeff Perlee, who represents Altamont within the Albany County Legislature, additionally spoke about music however sought to border it inside a bigger context.
Perlee stated reside leisure shouldn’t be approved for a particular applicant. “I feel it’s being too restrictive, and it’s placing a aggressive drawback on the property itself.”
Whereas Perlee praised Raza’s success, he stated if she did have to shut, “it could be an actual aggressive drawback, if the following applicant needed to undergo all the identical processes,” referring to new companies having to reapply for a special-use allow for leisure. “And that very same applicant — we’ve sort of run out of individuals … we’re getting near the top of individuals from this neighborhood who’re keen to dedicate their time and sources to opening a enterprise.
“The actual fact of the matter is, the way forward for Altamont enterprise goes to return from individuals outdoors. And people individuals have selections. They usually may open a enterprise in Voorheesville, they will open a enterprise in Delanson, and if Altamont property isn’t in a position to compete competitively by saying, ‘Sure, should you open a restaurant right here, in fact you’ll be able to have reside music.’ Then we run the danger of shedding that enterprise alternative to a neighboring neighborhood.
“So, I’d simply actually urge you to approve the growth. However I additionally see match to approve the growth with the authorization for reside music to the property to the owner on this explicit case.”
Phillips noticed this as one other good alternative to clarify issues.
The thought can be to have the tenant, “the precise consumer of the house,” Phillips stated, obtain approval for outside leisure, as a result of tenants are greatest positioned to find out what they wish to suggest and obtain approval for, “and likewise what situations they will reside with.”
Raza may current an software with what can be greatest for her enterprise — a restaurant with a bar, beneath the village zoning; the Subway sandwich restaurant which beforehand occupied the house had a distinct zoning designation.
Have been Raza to obtain outdoor-entertainment approval, then, sooner or later, if one other restaurant with a bar had been to occupy the house, it may function beneath the parameters set by Raza’s special-use allow, Phillips stated, the proprietor would “not want to return again to this planning board.”
Joe Burke, the director of the Altamont Free Library, who, greater than anybody else within the village would have motive to be against the additions because the library is the closest non-plaza-tenant neighbor, stated the growth wouldn’t have a “detrimental influence on the lifetime of the library.” Burke stated he was very happy to be “open-minded” with the whole lot else that had been mentioned through the March 22 assembly.
Whalen rides off, succinctly
The retiring Dean Whalen, the liaison trustee to the planning board, sought to summarize the problem the board was going through.
Given what was submitted with the Altamont Corners software, “which does not likely specify something associated to noise, which appears to be one of many massive points, the board can proceed with the appliance as it’s.”
That places the onus on Raza when she comes again earlier than the board for an modification to her special-use allow, “to make clear what she needs to do,” however that additionally “sort of places a little bit of her on the bubble, as a result of she gained’t know if she’ll get what she wants at the moment. Very probably she is going to. However that is not solid in stone.”
The second choice the board had was to request from Thomas extra noise-related data that might apply extra particularly to the plaza growth and to his explicit allow software.
The phrase “no”
Cropsey supplied another choice: Change the outdoor-entertainment situation contained within the decision the board had initially meant to undertake.
The planning board’s situation stated, “No outside leisure, together with however not restricted to leisure using amplified music, shall be allowed within the growth until such time as approval is granted by the planning board.”
The situation Cropsey supplied stated, “Leisure, together with however not restricted to leisure using amplified music, could also be allowed in a deck growth space solely as accredited by the planning board as an modification to the occupying tenants special-use allow.”
Cropsey stated the situation he was providing would give Thomas the flexibility to market the house ought to Raza exit of enterprise, however it could additionally give her “just a little bit extra confidence” when she has to return earlier than the board to amend her personal allow software.
“The unique language actually sort of shuts it down; with the modified language, it provides the choice to each the owner and the tenant,” Cropsey stated.
Phillips stated there was no distinction between the unique situation and what Cropsey was providing, as a result of the proposal would nonetheless need to be accredited by the planning board. “Clearly, you’re feeling that there’s some benefit in working it that method,” Phillips stated. “And I simply don’t wish to mislead you that your language would get you some further rights than what’s on this decision right here.”
Cropsey wasn’t suggesting it could, he stated, “however the phrase, ‘no’ if we may take that proper out of the sentence, that might be nice.”
“You possibly can’t have the concept that [the] special-use allow ought to run with the land, until, as we had stated earlier than, you’re considerably altering it, you’re enlarging it, otherwise you’re altering the permitted use,” Phillips stated.
It virtually appeared as if Cropsey had been trying to introduce an outdoor-entertainment approval for Thomas separate from Raza’s, she stated, in order that Thomas may “market” the house “separate from how [Raza] can use it the place, in actuality, I don’t see that we are able to separate the 2.”
Nobody’s saying there couldn’t be outside leisure, it’s simply acquired to be within the software, she stated.
Cropsey stated the specificity can be coming from Raza.
However that specificity ought to have been included as a part of the Altamont Corners’ software, if Thomas had been on the lookout for some sort of approval, Phillips stated.
However Cropsey was hung up on the phrase “no” within the planning board’s situation.
After persevering with to insist on taking the phrase out of the decision, the planning board relented.
The situation now reads, “Outside leisure, together with however not restricted to leisure utilizing amplified noise, shall not be allowed within the growth space until such use is accredited by the planning board as an modification to the occupying tenants special-use allow.”
The place Cropsey supplied “could also be,” Phillips countered with “shall not be.”
“I’ll simply reiterate for the report … With this approval, there isn’t a outside leisure with amplified music allowed till [Raza] is available in and will get that accredited as a part of their particular use allow,” Phillips stated.
On the brand new language within the situation, Thomas stated, “I feel we are able to reside with that. And I’m wanting ahead to proceed to construct the gorgeous addition that matches into the architectural vernacular of Altamont and to boost it.”
Thomas on Tuesday had despatched a letter to the board expressing dismay with the situation the board modified at Cropsey’s request.
“It’s crucial that laws not be carried out to dam our challenge for aesthetic deck leisure inside Altamont’s Central Enterprise District,” Thomas wrote. “If such restrictions had been to be deliberate, I’d not contemplate investing the amount of cash wanted to construct such a high quality construction that matches throughout the village of Altamont’s distinctive architectural ambiance.”