Formula Business Ban Approved

New parking committee to be formed

By Michael Turton

Formula businesses have been formally banned in Cold Spring. Trustees on the Village Board voted to approve a change to the zoning code that prohibits formula or “chain” retail businesses, restaurants and drive-throughs at their meeting on Tuesday (Feb. 18). The vote, which drew applause from the small audience, was 4-0 in favor. Mayor Ralph Falloon was away on vacation.

Fast food franchises and drive-throughs are among the businesses prohibited by the new law. (File photo)

Fast food franchises and drive-throughs are among the businesses prohibited by the new law. (File photo)

Final wording of the new law included a definition of a convenience store, one type of business included in the ban. The law permits small franchises that have up to nine outlets.

Trustee Matt Francisco said that the Dunkin’ Donuts now planned on the site of the former Elmesco Citgo service station on Chestnut Street was a “real wakeup call.”  He said the Village Board acted quickly to prohibit other formula businesses. The new law “will help protect village character” he said. Francisco also commented that it was the only issue for which there has been complete agreement among board members.

Street peddler permit requested

Village Attorney Michael Liguori will review a proposal submitted by village residents Dan Rayner and Angela Devine requesting that they be issued a street peddler’s permit for their business, “Dragonfly.” The request states that Dragonfly sells “a line of high-quality, contemporary tie-dyed clothing for adults, children, toddlers and infants.” If approved, the business would operate on weekends only from mid-April through mid-October, using a tent located on Main Street. The proponents suggested two possible locations — in front of Tightrope Interactive at 114 Main St., and at the foot of Upper Main near the Chamber of Commerce information booth.

Two new committees planned

Trustees voted to establish a new parking subcommittee to consider issues raised in an extensive parking report completed in 2008 as part of the Comprehensive Plan process. One aspect that has been raised a number of times but never fully resolved is whether or not to install “Muni-Meters” on Main Street. The 2008 report cites the meters as a potentially lucrative new source of revenue for the village but the concept has received mixed reviews in previous discussions.

At the suggestion of the Cold Spring Area Chamber of Commerce, a committee will also be established to deal with holiday lighting for Main Street. Last year Central Hudson did not allow the village to continue its long-standing tradition of cross-street lighting. The village had no funds budgeted for a new lighting system and instead repurposed old lighting and installed wreaths atop Main Street utility polls. The chamber also added lighting to a number of trees.

Procedural matters

At the end of the meeting, Michael Bowman and Cathryn Fadde, running as a team in the upcoming Village Board election, both brought up procedural issues. Fadde questioned if meetings of the two new committees would be open to the public. Liguori responded that they would, as required by the Open Meetings Law. She also asked if public notice was given for a recent Tree Advisory Committee meeting. Trustee Stephanie Hawkins, who chairs that committee, said she didn’t know if notice had been given.

Bowman questioned the term “personnel matters” as justification for the board going into executive session, which it later did. Liguori said that the term “personnel” is not used in the Open Meetings Law. He said that the correct wording would be that the board enters executive session “to discuss the employment of a particular individual.”

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