Dispute over Butterfield development application
By Michael Turton
Cold Spring Mayor Dave Merandy will seek a second legal opinion regarding an application that would change the location of the senior citizen center at the redevelopment of the former Butterfield Hospital site. Merandy made the comment at the May 24 meeting of the Village Board.
At a meeting of the Cold Spring Planning Board on May 12, chair Matt Francisco said that, based on advice from village attorney John Furst and building inspector Bill Bujarski, the change proposed by developer Paul Guillaro is “obviously an amendment to the site plan and (as a result) the parking table (must) be updated.”
The proposed change would move the senior citizen center from Building No. 2 to the Lahey Pavilion, where plans call for 35 parking spaces. Steven Barshov, Guillaro’s attorney, said at the May 12 meeting that Furst’s advice was in error and that the village code indicates no additional parking is required, making an updated parking table unnecessary. Revising the parking table would undoubtedly delay construction of the center.
Merandy said that while he has confidence in the village attorney and the planning board, he does not want to put the village in legal jeopardy. “I would feel more confident” having a second legal opinion, he said. Trustees approved having the Rhinebeck-based firm of Rodenhausen Chale, which specializes in municipal and land-use law, review the case and provide their opinion. The approved motion limited the cost of hiring the firm to $1,000.
In other business …
- The parking committee is considering a change that would reserve a number of parking spaces on Church Street near where it intersects with Main Street for use by the Cold Spring Fire Company.
- The pay station to be installed in the municipal parking lot on Fair Street is expected to be delivered on June 1. Police and village staff must be trained in its operation before it is activated.
- Trustees approved spending $1,000 to remove of a number of dead trees from Mayor’s Park. “The trees are a huge liability,” Merandy said.
- The board also approved contracting with Michael Mell and Greg Gunder to have them videotape meetings of the Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals and the Historic District Review Board.
- Aaron Wolfe addressed the board, asking them to have the Cold Spring Police Department step up enforcement at Main Street crosswalks to improve pedestrian safety.
- Michelle Ascolillo, newly hired as village accountant, began her part-time duties on May 25.
I only hope and pray that after all the necessary meetings with regard to this particular development, we all can enjoy the outcome. To take a worn down piece of property and turn it into something that will generate necessary tax dollars that the village can put to good use is a blessing. We need to all work together and keep calm heads. That is the only way forward.
Just exactly how much tax dollars will be generated by the village? Aren’t county offices exempted?