Letter to Editor: Dunkin’ Menu Board

On the Dunkin’ Donuts menu board

Dear Editor:

So it appears that the sad saga of Dunkin’ Donuts has closed with a final insult by the HDRB in approving a large, backlit menu board. After going to such trouble to fix up the rear of Foodtown, they have caved to Fast Food, Incorporated, condoning a garish pink altar that will shine out over Marion Avenue for all to see.

Mr. Downey, according to reports, commented on the decision that those who move near a commercial strip must pay the price, being “fully aware they bought property behind Foodtown.” For heaven’s sake! If that isn’t the least friendly thing anyone could say in this awful situation. These are families we are talking about, members of your community! Yes, they could have moved to Fishkill but they wanted to be in Cold Spring. They actually thought that once they moved here they would be a part of our community. Do we take care of our own, our neighbors? Obviously not. Instead we condemn them forever for their choice.

The original site plan for Marion Avenue had smaller ranches set so they were not facing the commercial area. But our boards back in 2001 saw fit to refuse the plan, insisting on the current architectural designs because they were more historically appropriate. They also required that the houses face out with big porches, implying that the homeowners could enjoy the amenity.

We created this mess. So why is it, when these neighbors of ours ask for help, you thumb your nose at them? And the planning board isn’t any less guilty. You allowed nighttime deliveries — as many as 20 a week. Do you want to listen to trucks at night along with the crickets?

At one of the public hearings it was said that it’s the people who make Cold Spring what it is. One would hope it’s not just some people, but all the people. Next time, it could be you with the problem. Let’s all try to remember to love our neighbors as ourselves when the next issue arises.

Judith Rose
Cold Spring

3 thoughts on “Letter to Editor: Dunkin’ Menu Board

  1. Thank you Judith! I could not have spoken out for myself and my neighbors any better than that. In unity, Janice Hogan/Marion Avenue

  2. Thank you for your words, Judith. I, too, learned from the Marion developer that the village boards rejected the original site plan showing the new homes facing the river. I was told the boards were adamant about not making Marion into a “back alley.” In order to finally obtain an HDRB Certificate of Appropriateness, the developer made, at the HDRB’s suggestions, many expensive alterations to design, materials and construction. The homes were to be designed and sited to meld into the fabric of village life. Clearly, there was vision there. And given my happiness with my home, my porch and accessibility to neighbors walking by, they had the right idea. And, in fact, that very idea is what this village recently approved in our Comprehensive Plan.

    Given this history, it concerns me to hear such negative, divisive comments attributed to board members about our street and its shared existence with a commercially zoned area. Rather than condemning the street, our appointed boards should pick up where they left off and continue to work to meet the vision they had when approving the additional residential development. Appointed board members certainly have their right to private opinions, but inserting judgment about where an affected neighbor chooses to make their home has no place in their decision making. Their job is to objectively apply code and guidelines, taking into consideration our Comprehensive Plan, not pick and choose what to apply based on personal judgment calls. Further, as they move on to larger projects, I hope they remember that our Comprehensive Plan promotes preserving our village character, not whittling it away.

  3. It truly is concerning that an appointed board member would voice a critical personal opinion publicly. Residents have a right to choose where they live. The residents of Marion Avenue have lovely, well-kept homes that contribute to the quality of this Village. Isn’t it enough that fast food has invaded the Village, without the insult of a horrendous menu board? Maybe a little more consideration should be given to your neighbors who actually live in Cold Spring, when making decisions that will affect them.