Plan for Route 9 sparked Philipstown moratorium

A heating oil business whose proposal to install three 29,000-gallon tanks on its property on Route 9 spurred Philipstown to pass a six-month moratorium on large petroleum storage containers has revised its project.

Krasniqi Plaza LLC presented to the Philipstown Planning Board on Feb. 15 an amended plan that still calls for a 9,500-square-foot building with offices for its oil and fencing businesses at the southeast corner of Route 9 and East Mountain Road North, along with a 9,000-square-feet outdoor storage area.

But the project will no longer include the above-ground storage tanks, which had raised concerns among town officials and neighbors after Krasniqi introduced it to the Planning Board in October. Krasniqi will instead add a second structure whose 5,300 square feet will be divided into four rental units to contractors needing office and storage space.

A rendering of a 9,500-square-foot commercial building proposed for Route 9 in Philipstown

“The message on the previous site plan was received and has, obviously, been codified by the Town Board,” Adam Thyberg, a representative for Krasniqi, said on Feb. 15. “There will be no heating oil storage on site.”

The Planning Board scheduled, for March 10 at 9:30 a.m., a visit to Krasniqi’s property for anyone interested in the revised plan. Members of the board and residents previously inspected the property on Nov. 5, after the company presented its initial proposal.

Neal Zuckerman, the board’s chair, estimated that the November visit drew 70 people. “Besides the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, we’ve never had more people attend a site visit in my 11 years on this board,” he said. “The volume of interest from the public is not insignificant at that corner.”

One reason is the property’s location within the Clove Creek Aquifer, which parallels Route 9 from East Mountain Road South to the town’s border with Fishkill. Groundwater from the aquifer feeds the wells that supply residents and businesses in the highly developed northern part of Route 9, and the towns of Fishkill and Wappinger, the Village of Fishkill and Beacon.

The Philipstown Town Board cited a need to protect the aquifer when its members approved, in December, a moratorium on projects storing more than 10,000 gallons of oil as it considers new zoning restrictions.

Current zoning allows storage of up to 400,000 gallons of oil, which the town considers a danger to the environment and drinking water because of the risks of leaks, spills and the damage to tanks from natural disasters or extreme weather.

The moratorium, which the town can extend for two additional six-month periods, does not apply to applications for single- and two-family housing or applications for multiple housing units, “provided that the oil storage facility involved in the development is the minimum necessary to meet the needs of the proposed development and does not exceed 10,000 gallons.”

Commercial developments are exempt if the oil-storage facility is to be used solely for consumption on-site; the capacity is the minimum necessary for the development’s needs; and the capacity does not exceed 10,000 gallons.

Property owners applying for “expansion, alteration or modification” of storage facilities that do not call for an increase in size or capacity are also exempt.

Behind The Story

Type: News

News: Based on facts, either observed and verified directly by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.

The Peekskill resident is a former reporter for the Times Herald-Record in Middletown, where he covered Sullivan County and later Newburgh. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Morgan State University and a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Maryland. Location: Cold Spring. Languages: English. Area of Expertise: General.

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