New Law Will Ban ‘Formula Businesses’ in Cold Spring

Public Hearing set for Oct. 14

By Michael Turton

The process to ban formula businesses such as Burger King, McDonald’s and other franchise operations in Cold Spring is now underway in earnest. Village trustees passed a resolution introducing the proposed local law at their Sept. 16 (Monday) meeting.

Residents will have a chance to comment on the proposed legislation at a public hearing scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 14, at the Village Hall. Mayor Ralph Falloon and Trustees Matt Francisco and Stephanie Hawkins voted in favor of the resolution, which also designates the Village Board as lead agency for the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) review. Trustees Bruce Campbell and Charles Hustis did not attend the 45-minute meeting.

Trustees spoke briefly by phone with special counsel Warren Replansky before voting. Replansky had revised the draft resolution and reviewed the completed Part 1 of the SEQRA form required as part of the process. He assured trustees that both were in order and advised that the next step was to place the required notice of the public hearing in the PCNR. The Special Board for the Comprehensive Plan and Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan had recommended the proposed law in a report issued in February 2013.

That report identified other communities in New York state, including Rhinebeck, that have enacted similar legislation. The proposed local law draws upon language used in zoning codes adopted in some of those communities. Asked by Francisco if the Rhinebeck law had ever been challenged in court, Hawkins said that to her knowledge it had not. That law has been in place for more than two years. The report also pointed out that the Town of Philipstown prohibits “trademarked architecture” unless the applicant can show that the design is compatible with historic architecture within the town.

Asked by The Paper if the new law would apply to any retail space proposed at the Butterfield site, Falloon said that it would. Barney Molloy, Chair of the Cold Spring Planning Board, who was in the audience, agreed. The previously approved Dunkin’ Donuts store planned for 33 Chestnut St., will not be affected by the new law and can proceed as planned – unless the owners fail to initiate the project within one year of it having been approved by the Planning Board.

Emergency Preparedness Continues

A meeting of the Emergency Preparedness Committee (EPC) was held after the Village Board meeting, attended by Falloon and Hawkins, along with Karn Dunn and Frank Haggerty, both of whom live in the area of lower Main Street, west of the Metro-North tracks. That area flooded during Hurricane Irene and was hit especially hard during Hurricane Sandy. The EPC is focusing its initial efforts on that section of the village. Falloon said that once an emergency plan is put in place there, it would be expanded to include the entire village.

It appears very likely that New York Alert (NYA) will be used for communicating with local residents during emergencies. The system issues warnings and emergency information via its website, cell phones, email and other technologies. The service is free and residents simply have to sign up for it, indicating from which methods they want to receive information. Village officials would issue alerts pertaining to Cold Spring. Discussion also included approaching officials at the Haldane Central School District about the possibility of using its warning system.

Local Boy Scout leader Tom Campanile discussed the potential for using area Scouts to help with emergency preparedness. Tasks such as filling sand bags, delivering surveys door-to-door and helping to man warming centers during emergencies were identified as possible roles that Scouts could play.

Discussion continued regarding the makeup of a comprehensive survey of residents, as a means to gather information needed by first responders. Information on emergency kits designed to provide residents with basic needs for up to 72 hours after an emergency is also being developed for residents. The kits are highly recommended by the American Red Cross as a basic precaution.

EPC will meet again at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 30, at the Village Hall.

3 thoughts on “New Law Will Ban ‘Formula Businesses’ in Cold Spring

  1. Re: “Formula Businesses.” Seems by this criteria Foodtown, Drug World, Sunoco and Citgo will have to go!

  2. The absence of formula businesses allows the Village of Cold Spring to retain its unspoiled historic character, natural beauty and “sense of place.” When you are in Cold Spring, one has the sense that they are someplace special, someplace real. Everywhere you look, natural beauty and historic details confirm this is no ordinary locale. Compare that to almost anywhere else — an array of familiar facades of fast food and chain stores that standardize, while robbing a place of its uniqueness. One feels they could be anywhere, or maybe nowhere. Formula business are a blight on America, a bland homogenized sameness that thankfully has not yet infected Cold Spring to any great degree. A new law intended to keep it that way will be considered at a public meeting on Monday, Oct. 14 at 7:30 p.m. at Village Hall. Public support is crucial to passage, so if you care about this, please show up.