I voted no on the B4A Zoning Amendment. I did so for reasons including mass and scale concerns raised by Planning Board members Arne Saari and Anne Impellizzeri, as well as concerns about infrastructure, its costs and the implications of the proposed zoning on our village taxes.

During its State Environmental Quality Review of the B4A Zoning Amendment our Planning Board was led by Chair Barney Molloy and advised by hired professionals — planning consultant Chuck Voss of Barton & Loguidice and attorney Anna Georgiou of Wormser, Kiely. Planning Board member Karn Dunn is quoted as saying she and her colleagues were advised their concerns about mass and scale could be addressed during Site Plan Review. We learned last week that is not the case: the chair and attorney informed them that the time for reviewing mass and scale was during the earlier SEQRA review — in effect, their opportunity to mitigate these impacts had passed and could no longer be discussed.

Why would our Planning Board members have been advised in this way? During their SEQR review were questions of mass and scale the only issues our Planning Board members were encouraged to address later in the process?

If it is true that our Planning Board members misunderstood what they voted on last February, my colleagues on the Village Board who subsequently voted yes to enact the B4A Zoning Amendment may well have misunderstood their own votes, too.

Certainly I am troubled by this situation. But I agree with Mayor Falloon that berating or insulting our neighbors isn’t the way forward.

I would like to better understand from each of our Planning Board members their individual experiences of their deliberations last winter, the direction they received in their SEQR review, and how those relate to their discussions of Site Plan Review last week. Also, I’m interested to know how well they believe consultants from Barton & Loguidice and counsel from Wormser, Kiely performed as guides and advisors on this very important zoning project.

Next week the Village Board interviews Barton & Loguidice for planning services on our Village Zoning Update project. Our Planning Board members’ experience of Barton & Loguidice and Wormser, Kiely will be important to the Village Board’s hiring decision for this next important zoning project.

Stephanie Hawkins
Cold Spring Trustee

Behind The Story

Type: Opinion

Opinion: Advocates for ideas and draws conclusions based on the author/producer’s interpretation of facts and data.

This piece is by a contributor to The Current who is not on staff. Typically this is because it is a letter to the editor or a guest column.