Common Council approves development moratorium downtown

Middletown’s Common Council has passed a law putting a six-month moratorium on development downtown to give the city time to update its zoning regulations.

The law bars any more building permits, certificates of occupancy or site plan approvals in the downtown Business Improvement District — roughly, the area bounded by Mill Street and Linden Avenue to the west, Fulton Street to the south, Montgomery Street and Academy Avenue to the east and Wickham Avenue to the north — that were applied for after Oct. 1, until March 31, 2013, unless the Common Council approves the application. It would allow some exceptions for modifying existing properties.

There will be a public hearing on the law at 10 a.m. on Nov. 15 in Mayor Joe DeStefano’s office.

DeStefano has said the city has gotten several applications and inquiries about opening new businesses in the BID area, and he wants to make sure the area isn’t saturated with too many similar-type uses — too many bars or barber shops, for example — until the city updates the regulations in the district. The BID is working with Ralph Dibart, head of New Rochelle’s BID, on drafting a master plan for Middletown’s downtown, DeStefano said.

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