OSWEGO, NY – The city took another step forward at Monday night’s Planning and Development Committee in its efforts to rewrite and update its zoning codes.
All of the councilors have probably received calls from someone, Mayor Billy Barlow said, “complaining about bureaucracy and redundancy in our current system.”
A lot of that, in his opinion, is due to an antiquated building code, he added.
The code was adopted nearly 80 years ago.
Barlow said the goal is to modernize the code to help entice new business and development in the Port City.
There have been some tweaks to the code over the years. But the last time a major revamp was done was nearly 40 years ago, the mayor noted.
The city issued an RFP (Request For Proposals) to see what’s out there to assist the city in the endeavor, Barlow said.
The mayor, purchasing agent and community development director reviewed the proposals the city received. They selected one.
The mayor presented the proposal to the councilor to look over this week.
The deadline for the rewrite is to have it ready for council review in November.
“When we constructed the 2017 budget, we set aside $60,000 for zoning code rewriting,” the mayor said. “This proposal came back at $105,000. So when we go to talk about this next week (council meeting), we would actually have to ask for an amendment for the difference.”
The proposed firm would give the city a strong legal side for zoning enforcement, Council President Eric VanBuren pointed out. They are also strong on the conceptual side, he added.
This will make things easier for developers. They will know what they can do and how they can do it for a number of things, he explained.
The updated codes would become effective this year. They would benefit the downtown and waterfront areas, two places the city has targeted for development and solve some of the issues in the neighborhoods, the mayor noted.
The proposal was forwarded to the full council for further discussion.