At the January and February Board of Trustees meetings, the main topics of conversation continued to be the zoning amendment which would permit a Fresh Market grocery store at the former Glennon Cadillac site and the Village Center Master Plan, which will guide redevelopment and zoning in the Village center.
Numerous residents near the Glennon site and their attorney spoke at the board meetings opposing the zoning change. The Village board placed the zoning amendment on hold, citing the community opposition, traffic concerns and the issue of setting a zoning precedent. Furthermore, the fact that a Citarella’s development on Hampton Road (in the mini-mall near the Southampton Stationery Store) and the Tuckahoe King Kullen project in the town could eliminate the need for a market at the Glennon site.
At the February 14th board meeting, the Trustees voted to accept the Village Center Master Plan Guidelines, which will set the terms for zoning changes and development in the village center. Just minutes prior to the meeting, the village consultants, Nelson Pope and Voorhis, submitted a final copy of the Environmental Assessment Form (EAF) reviewing the impact of the zoning changes. While the Association broadly agreed with the goals of the plan, the EAF contained several surprising findings not previously available to the community. As a result, we have asked the board to consider several revisions which we believe would ensure the Village maintains its small town charm. Specifically, we want to see limits on the number of residential and/or hotel/motel units which could be built in the village central business district. Secondly, we would like to see such projects approved directly by the board of Trustees after full and open public hearing (not a closed hearing in front of one of the appointed boards.) Lastly, we strongly believe that new developements must contribute adequate parking within the village. We are hopeful that after three years of review, these issues can be adequately addressed.
Lastly, at the February 28th Zoning Board of Appeals meeting, a decision was rendered granting a variance to a developer who had partially completed a home on Wooley Street that violated the village’s Pyramid Law. The applicant had neglected to calculate the formula in his plans (as required by code) and the building department did not notice the error until the house had been fully framed out. There was ample precedent to require a small section of the house to be redesigned and reworked. Instead, the board approved another home too big for its lot and its neighbors. We are disappointed to see our village ZBA siding with developers over the welfare of residents and neighborhoods.
March 25, 2013