Zoning Priorities

(Updated 12/14/2009)


  • Permit mixed-use commercial (office, assembly, retail) and residential development (second floor and roof top only). Eliminate industrial use. See Notes 1 and 2.
  • Encourage the creation of affordable housing in any residential development.
  • Support uses that increase the vitality of the waterfront, especially in the evening, and maintain the public/shared character of the district.
  • Seek moderate and manageable impact from traffic and noise. Consider the safety issues of additional waterfront development stemming from a single traffic access point and do not overburden the existing bridge. Traffic studies are recommended to determine peak traffic windows and capacity.
  • Promote mass transit, walking and bicycle usage. See Note 3.
  • Although the Board prefers to minimize parking on the waterfront, it would consider allowing an enclosed parking structure obtainable by special permit from the Village Board. In considering a permit application, the Board will require the parking structure be built in lieu of another building to which the property owner may be entitled. The Board may also require the structure conform to the current waterfront exterior architecture, result in the creation of additional green space and reduction of impervious surfaces by eliminating ground level parking and incorporate green technology to, among other things, capture storm water run off.
  • Provide clear net benefit for community in commercial, aesthetic and quality-of-life terms.
  • Contribute to socioeconomic diversity of community (not just high end stores).
  • Support historic character of the district and seek architectural compatibility with existing development on the waterfront.

Dimension Limitations (View Protection and Setbacks)

  • Limit impact of development on important view corridors, including from Main Street and Matthiessen Park.
  • Limit building height to 35 feet or less measured from the highest spot on the building, but allow limited rooftop usage. Stagger building height downward on the north side (bordering Matheissen Park) and south side (bordering Scenic Hudson Park) of the waterfront. For example, limit height to 25 feet or less in the 25 feet nearest the limits of the northern and southern setbacks described below. Consider the need to stagger building height along the West Main street corridor.
  • Require setbacks sufficient to (i) enable walking, biking and planted areas on the riverfront, (ii) preserve the beach and boathouse to the north and (iii) protect views and light on the perimeters and from and on Main Street and the parks. Consider the 100-year flood plain and the predicted impact of climate change on river levels in determining setbacks. The Board has expressed a very preliminary preference for setbacks ranging from 50 to 100 feet on the riverfront, 25 to 50 feet (plus the boat house area) at the northern border, up to 25 feet at the southern and eastern borders and up to 10 feet on West Main. These figures will require much work (modeling and public comment) to refine and finalize.

Strategies to Maximize Open Space and River Access

  • Improve West Main Street and Railroad Way (lights, paving, sidewalks, plantings and possible public plaza at river end of West Main). Public plaza at the end of West Main might permit fishing and water ferries.
  • Preserve significant public right-of-way along the waterfront via easement or other mechanisms.
  • Extend Westchester County’s planned River Walk through the district to connect the parks.
  • Improve public access to waterfront and Mattheissen and Scenic Hudson Parks, including encouraging MTA or private developers to construct a pedestrian bridge over the tracks to Scenic Hudson Park.
  • Resolve the future use of the site currently occupied by the Irvington Boat Club.
  • Encourage cluster development.
  • Subject to other legal limitations, promote river access by permitting public piers to be built out on the river.

Sustainability (Impact on Environment)

  • Avoid negative impact on river, soil and air quality and prohibit heavy industrial usage.
  • Encourage use of mass transit and pedestrian and bicycle traffic and reduce car usage.
  • Promote green standards for new structures and rehabilitation of older buildings.
  • Require measures that maximize environmental benefits including bio-retention and filtration of storm water run off from permeable and non-permeable paving and roof surfaces.
  • Permit raised structures for tree planting without raising the overall grade of the waterfront.
  • Reduce nighttime light pollution by requiring measures such as downward facing and limited intensity lighting at the property lines.

Note 1

Trustee Kehoe expressed preferences for specific uses which would create a unique destination experience, including, for example, boutique hotel and bed and breakfasts, art oriented retail (painters, photographers, jewelry makers), retail with services and instructional classes (yoga, dance, theater, music, art), professional offices (doctor), childcare centers, food and drink establishments (restaurants and specialty food stores) and sports and recreation retailer/renter (camping, running or kayak outfitters).

Note 2

Trustee Smith also expressed preferences for specific uses including commercial and service businesses (restaurants). In order to attract business to the waterfront and Main Street, he would permit a suitably sized anchor retail store (i.e. specialty, not large box retailer, in recognition of limited access). Although he expressed flexibility, he argued against residential usage due to lack of historical precedent, limited access and parking and the concern that the privacy requirements of residents might not be compatible with encouraging pedestrian traffic. Trustee Kehoe expressed similar concerns about residential usage and might prefer residential usage by Village Board permit only.

Note 3

Trustee Kehoe made suggestions designed to promote a “walkable zone” with limited car usage. She suggested cars be kept mostly off site, business patrons park offsite and use a shuttle bus and encouraging offsite parking by allowing business tenants to create a “public access privately owned” green space for each space saved.