North Greenbush moratorium may invite lawsuits, damage single family home market
North Greenbush’s town board recently approved a 12 month moratorium on multi family housing. Although concerns about growth and traffic in town are valid, this moratorium is problematic. Real estate moratoria are frequently litigated and any proposal must be crafted with a specific goal such as a comprehensive plan update. The North Greenbush law vaguely references the comprehensive plan. Has the board chosen to update the comprehensive plan, a time consuming and expensive endeavor?
If so, are funds allocated in the 2023 budget? The board has not even appointed a current comprehensive plan committee. A moratorium on apartments specifically should take into consideration the ripple impact on the single family home market. Regeneron has transformed the North Greenbush and East Greenbush communities through an influx of educated, skilled workers from outside the region. Many of these employees choose to live in apartments when they first arrive to get a feel for the community where they ultimately will settle.
Vacancy rates are already very low in North Greenbush so if apartments are no longer built, Regeneron employees may need to settle in other towns. When they decide to purchase a home, they will likely stay in these towns. This will negatively impact North Greenbush’s single family home market. I am not advocating for unlimited apartment construction as I recognize that these dwellings put a strain on municipal services. The town board should instead think creatively and enact local laws that will empower the planning and zoning boards to impose conditions on developers of multi family housing. Stop making rezoning decisions that increase sprawl. Require developers to build sidewalks and multi use trails connecting residential and commercial developments so residents can walk and bike without contributing to traffic. Make them contribute to parks and facilities for emergency services. Other towns do.
Mary Frances Sabo, North Greenbush