PB 8-17-23

Planning Board meeting

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Common Council Chambers

August 17, 2023 – 4:30 PM


PB Case No.:  03-23                                                   Zone:  Central Business District (CBD)

Address:          1002 Cornelia Street                    Requested Action:      Site Plan Review/Approval

Applicant:       Steve Wickham, AIA

Owner:            CNY Center for Development                                               



Pursuant to City of Utica Zoning Code Section 2-29-291(a) and (b) the applicant is seeking site plan approval of a proposal to renovate the former YWCA into supportive housing units for the homeless and veterans.  The plan calls for a total of fourteen (14) units to be created with one-, two- and three-bedroom options.  In addition, a small three-story addition will be constructed in support of the housing units and a one-story addition will be constructed for a boxing ring.  The existing pool and locker rooms will be renovated and made available for public use and a new 17-car parking lot will be added.


The Planning Board tabled the application at the March 16th meeting and requested that the applicant provide more detailed plans. At the June 28th special meeting, the Planning Board granted Site Plan approval contingent that the applicant adheres to and satisfies the site plan review comments provided by the City of Utica Engineering Department.


The applicant is requesting a revised resolution to accommodate modifications made to the project's reconfiguration, aligning it with the plan submitted to the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Homeless Housing and Assistance Program (HHAP). Specifically, the applicant intends to augment the number of apartments from 14 to 20 units by replacing the three-bedroom units with (2) one-bedroom units each. Additionally, the proposed Boxing Ring addition has been excluded from the project. These adjustments do not affect the site work.



PB Case No.:  07-23                                                            Zone:   Multiple Zoning Districts

Address:          Central Industrial Corridor                             Requested Action:      SEQRA Review

in the Brownfield Opportunity Areas (BOA)

Applicant:       Brian Thomas, Commissioner

Owner:            City of Utica, NY                                          




In 2009, the City of Utica received a grant from the State of New York to undertake a Pre-Nomination study to evaluate the potential of establishing a State-designated Brownfield Opportunity Area or BOA within the City limits.  Designation of a BOA within the City brings with it a number of advantages.  First, from a planning perspective, it enables community leaders to establish a clear vision toward revitalizing blighted areas so that they become economically and environmentally sustainable.  Second, funds are provided to assist BOA communities in taking steps that help to implement plans that will advance the vision for these areas.  Third, developers of projects within BOA’s are eligible to receive a tax credit so long as their plans are in concert with the BOA.


As a result of the Pre-Nomination study in 2009, the City received additional funding in 2018 to take the Pre-Nomination study to a full Nomination; a draft of that Nomination study can be reviewed at www.uticaBOA.com.  As part of the State’s grant for this work, completion of SEQRA is required.  In discussion with our Department of State representative and the consultant team that has helped guide this process, it is agreed that it is a Type II action, per NYCCRR Section 617.5(c)(27) which states: conducting concurrent environmental, engineering, economic, feasibility and other studies and preliminary planning and budgetary processes necessary to the formulation of a proposal for action, provided those activities do not commit the agency to commence, engage in or approve such action.


As such, the Planning Board is asked to consider a resolution declaring yourself as lead agent for the purposes of conducting a review pursuant to SEQRA for the Nomination Study for the Central Industrial Corridor.  Should the Board so choose to declare itself as lead agent, a second motion would be necessary to declare the completion of this study and submission to the State requesting a BOA designation be declared to be a Type II action under SEQRA, thereby requiring no further action.


Part I of the Long Form Environmental Assessment Form (LEAF) has been provided.