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Officials with the Walkway over the Hudson in Poughkeepsie are proposing changing zoning laws around the path to offer more for its visitors while some businesses in the area are against the idea. YNN's Michael Howard has the story.
POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. -- The Walkway over the Hudson is famous for its views on the path, but off it, it’s a different story.
“The people who come here want things to eat and other things to do as well,” said Hudson Walkway Zoning Committee member Jeff Anzevino.
Anzevino is the head of the zoning committee for the Walkway and says the area where people are walking and parking off the path offers little to any of its annual half-a-million visitors.
“There’s a story about a guy who went to Massachusetts and when he said he was from Poughkeepsie, the guy said, 'oh yeah, I’ve been to the Walkway, but to tell you the truth, it looked like a down and out industrial area,'” said Anzevino.
His plan is to bring in businesses by changing the zoning laws of properties along Parker Avenue and parts of Washington Street.
“This new zoning law would allow better development here,” said Anzevino. “And around the area of the Walkway, stores, hotels, restaurants, mixed use buildings, so there’s apartments above stores that would be useful for visitors of Walkway over the Hudson.”
An idea Frank Castella is concerned with.
“It’s not equitable to take a piece of property that’s zoned industrial and change the zoning,” Castella said.
Castella has owned his printing shop since the 1980s and says the proposed zoning laws could drive local business out.
“There are a lot of small businesses in this area,” said Castella. “There are a couple of them that have gone out already, but they should be nurturing these small businesses and helping them, not hindering them.”
While Anzevino says the proposed laws will help businesses, as well as everyday walkers.
“One of the side benefits of this is it’s going to make the area a lot better for walking. Right now, the sidewalks are broken and it’s bad for the people who live in the City of Poughkeepsie,” Anzevino said.
Poughkeepsie Common Council members are expected to vote Monday night on the proposed zoning laws.