Esperance adopts new zoning law


On October 8, the Village of Esperance adopted its first zoning law.
This effort started in 2003 in response to some ongoing land use problems in the village and a desire by former Mayor Larry Rockwell to have a future plan laid out for the community.
A comprehensive plan was adopted in 2005 and the new zoning law is a direct result of the goals and objectives outlined in the comprehensive plan.
“I commend the Village of Esperance for all the hard work that went into the planning process and this zoning law,” said Schoharie County Senior Planner Shane Nickle.
“The village is hands-down the best community that I have ever worked with and everyone involved was respectable of every opinion to achieve a truly community-based land use plan and law.”
The Village of Esperance is situated on the banks of Schoharie Creek in northeastern Schoharie County and has approximately 380 inhabitants.
The new zoning law divides the village into five different districts, with the US Route 20 section designated as a Main Street Mixed district.
“The purpose of this zone is to allow a mix of uses while offering some basic protections with performance standards,” explained Mayor Steve Miller.
“The historic sizes of parcels will be continued, but there will now be a review of landscaping, noise, parking, lighting, signage and other elements to help us improve the Village Main Street.”
The Schoharie County Planning and Development Agency assisted the Village in the process.
“We intend to help their new planning board and new zoning board of appeals get off on the right track,” Mr. Nickle states. “There is still a lot of work to be done in the village to implement the comprehensive plan, but the new zoning law is a huge piece of the puzzle to get us started. One objective I also anticipate being addressed soon is the US Route 20 traffic flow through the Village and how to give this road a more main street feel.”
Village resident Joanna Harps is the new Planning Board chair. Ms. Harps is working on her Masters in Planning at SUNY Albany and currently works for the Preservation League of New York State.
A copy of the comprehensive plan and zoning law, schedule, and map is available online at