The Transit Oriented Development zoning district (TOD) is a proposed development for the 22-acre site adjacent to the Beacon train station that is owned by MTA Metro-North Railroad. The MTA proposed to build a $290 million development to replace the parking lot that is there now.
The development would include streets, shops, apartments, condominiums, offices and a promenade built on top of a double-deck parking garage. Consideration of the TOD is a very significant issue before the Beacon City Council and all Beacon citizens. Here is a compendium of related information that has been posted on the city website.
July 2010 Update: The City Council has decided not to consider or advance the Metro-North Railroad transit-oriented development (TOD) in its current form. The council would have to enact zoning changes in order for the development to proceed
As originally proposed, Metro-North wanted to build approximately 600 dwelling units and 120,000 square feet of commercial space near the train station. The 22-acre, $290 million development was to include streets, shops, apartments, condominiums, offices and a promenade built on top of a double-deck parking garage.
The consensus was reached after a series of open discussions and outreach in the community, including newspaper articles, cable broadcasts, public hearings and town hall meetings. The mayor will propose a lower density plan, with residential space reduced by one third and commercial space by more than 60 percent.
TOD Q&A - Presented Feb 8, 2010
On December 10th the City Council held a meeting with the Main Street Corridor Committee and Beacon Deserves Better Committee. Also in attendance were City Administrator Meredith Robson, the City Planner David Stolman and County Planner John Clarke. The following questions were asked by the participants at that meeting. The answers are intended to be objective and factual. While there are some values implied the answers do not represent a position or a final opinion. The city council is open to input from all concerned citizens and groups before a vote on the Beacon Transit Oriented Development Zone will be held. The statements made in this paper are non-binding and represent the facts as they are known to be when this paper was written.
TOD Local Law - Draft Nov 13, 2009
A revised draft the local law creating a new TOD zone including updated language to address commercial units. Includes a map. Earlier drafts: Jul 22, 2009, Sep 1, 2009, Sep 24, 2009
TOD Cost of Services Study
The Cost of Services Study was commissioned to estimate the fiscal impacts of six potential development projects (including the TOD) on the City of Beacon and the Beacon City School District (CSD). The final report prepared by AKRF was presented on Dec 22, 2009. The report concludes that each of the six potential development projects would generate substantial economic and fiscal benefits during their respective construction periods.
Transit Oriented Development Informational Presentation
A slideshow presented by John Clarke of Dutchess County Planning and Development at the August 3, 2009 TOD informational meeting. Includes informative detailed maps, sketches, and photos.
School Costs of Transit Oriented Development
A survey of comparable TODs prepared in March 2008 by Urbanomics for Edison Township in New Jersey and relevant to the proposed City of Beacon TOD.
The survey identified 32 existing TOD districts most closely resembling the potential TOD from a comprehensive national database of 505 districts. Based on the number of school children living in these comparable districts, the analysis projected how many school aged children would be generated by the proposed TOD and the factors that would impact that number. The analysis indicates that the number of school aged children generated by such districts would be extremely low -- a projected 3 school aged children per 100 units (from a sample set with a low of 0 per 100 units and a high of 12).
Video recordings of public meetings:
(1) August 3, 2009 Special City Council Meeting — TOD Informational Meeting
The meeting featured a presentation on the proposed TOD District for the land surrounding the Railroad Station, including historic views of the area, recommended design principles, an illustrative sketch plan as one example of what it might look like, an analysis of how river views can be protected, and the public benefits of transit-oriented development.
(2) The October 1, 2009 Special Town Hall Meeting — TOD Informational Meeting
(3) The December 14, 2009 City Council Workshop — TOD Impact Study Presentation
(4) The June 28, 2010 City Council Workshop — Q&A with Professor John Nolan,Pace University School of Law, Land Use Law Center and Real Estate Law Institute