Homeowners fear impact of facility on neighborhood
On the drive north on Route 9D through Beacon, Van Ness Road is the last residential turn-off before Interstate 84. The cul-de-sac, located within the Town of Fishkill, is bordered on the north and east by trees.
Between those northern trees and I-84, a developer has proposed construction at 1292 Route 9D of a self-storage warehouse. Neighbors on Van Ness are unhappy.
The lot was purchased in 2019 by Nidal Hassen, a broker at JonCar Realty in Beacon. In May, Hassen applied to the Town of Fishkill Planning Board for a special-use permit to construct a two-story, 51,000-square-foot warehouse. The parcel is zoned “restricted business,” which does not include self-storage facilities as a permitted use.
“The property is situated in a residential area and ought not be developed for commercial purposes,” said Liisa Sorensen, who moved to the neighborhood 23 years ago. “Adjoining property owners, many with children and pets, have a reasonable expectation of privacy, of peace.”
In addition, she said, over the past 20 years, traffic on the half-mile stretch of Route 9D between Verplanck Avenue and I-84 has become increasingly dangerous.
Without the benefit of traffic signals, she said, drivers entering or exiting side streets such as Van Ness must negotiate a seemingly endless flow of vehicles, especially during the morning and evening rush hours.
Sorensen and other neighbors voiced their opposition at the July 14 meeting of the Planning Board.
Robert Johnson, a former lawyer who has lived on Van Ness for 21 years, noted that, besides the need for a special-use permit, there was another point to consider: “The lot size of 4.7 acres does not meet the minimum 5 acres that the Town of Fishkill requires in zones marked ‘restricted business.’”
The Planning Board accepted Hassen’s application for a special-use permit for further consideration but turned down his request for a waiver of the standard environmental review. Hassen declined to comment.