Saugerties Village Board upbraids critic of Lynch’s Marina project

(Photo by Doug Freese)

(Photo by Doug Freese)

A Friends of Lynch’s Marina has been formed, and it has received similar criticism from village trustees that another recent such group got.

Saying she was a member of Friends of Lynch’s Marina, Robin Goss was the sole member spokesperson present at the May 2 village trustees’ meeting. She read a statement that said the group hoped village officials would not support an application by Tom Struzzieri, the new owner of the marina, for a special-use permit to convert one of two buildings on the Ferry Street property as a restaurant and banquet hall.

Village planning board members will begin discussions about the application at their May 11 meeting at 6:30 p.m. at the Saugerties Fire Department’s meeting hall at 43 Partition Street.

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Struzzieri, owner of HITS and co-owner of Diamond Mill, purchased the marina last December with the intent of renovating the two existing buildings, repairing the bulkhead and docks, and making the marina property a viable commercial enterprise again. The marina fell into disrepair during the summer of superstorm Sandy, and storms Irene and Lee. The docks and bulkhead were severely damaged The property lies within the R-3/W zone, which permits residential use and waterfront development. A commercial use such as a restaurant or banquet hall requires a special-use permit from the village planning board.

In her statement Goss said her group believes that a wedding/banquet hall would create too much traffic and noise in the area, and that only a restaurant should be allowed. She added that her group has seen ads for the marina advertising that weddings of up to 300 people will be permitted at the site beginning June 1.

Mayor Bill Murphy, who said he met with Struzzieri and his representatives the previous week, said the developer wants to use one of the two buildings as a wedding hall for the first year, and then next year have a restaurant. “He has also repaired the bulkhead and the docks, and is following proper procedures” in trying to acquire the special-use permit, Murphy said.

“Where were the friends for the last 20 years when the buildings were dilapidated?” Murphy asked. “You are like the Friends of Clovelea [the Dragon Inn],” who threw so many obstacles in the way of the person who purchased the property that he has now walked away from the project, said the mayor, and “we are stuck with this eyesore.”

Eyal Saad, village code enforcement officer, recently said that the owner of the Dragon Inn boarded up the burnt-out wreckage of the Chinese restaurant to keep out vagrants and has now walked away from the project.

“Anytime someone comes here to do something positive,” Friends’ groups form to put hurdles in their way, Murphy complained.

Trustee Terry Parisian also accused Goss of “using innuendos and no facts,” when talking about the Lynch project. “You don’t even have your facts straight. It upsets me that every time someone wants to do something good,” this sort of group comes out, Parisian added.

After last week’s meeting between the mayor, Struzzieri’s representatives and Saad, Struzzieri said he would install a sprinkler system in the building to make it safe for large groups of people.

Alex Wade, former village code enforcement officer and now head of special projects for the village government, said that the Ferry Street side of the Esopus Creek was specifically set up for waterfront development. “If you want quiet, single-family homes, go to the other side of the creek,” Wade said. “Our major goal was and is having public access to the creek.”

Struzzieri has promised that a public boat launch will be built when the marina is developed, and “it will be a big boon for the economy,” Wade added.

Marina representatives met with the village Historic Review Board (HRB) on April 27 and were given permission to install new windows at one of the buildings. The HRB said the new windows will look historically accurate and gave their approval.

Windows in the building had been taken out because of their deteriorated condition without HRB permission. The marina lies within the historic district.

There are 4 comments

  1. Jen Dragon

    Thank you Mayor Murphy for sticking up for this soon to be community asset! If a resident does not want the kind of noise and traffic associated with commercially zoned business then for crying out loud, DONT PURCHASE PROPERTY NEAR A COMMERCIALLY ZONED AREA!!! The same BS Goes on in Woodstock and anywhere else around here when an entrepreneur seeks to develope their investment!

  2. Gus

    As usual a group of people setup a blockade to progress. Saugerties has a long history of this. More business and tax base has been run out of this town than you care to know. Funny thing is every complains about the taxes including the “do-gooders” who run the burden relief projects out. In this case these “friends groups” are not acting as friends. They are formed out of the selfishness of a certain few looking out for there interests not the communities. I put them in the same category as ignorant people who buy the parcel by an airport because of the cheap price then move in and petition to close the airport because its a nuisance acting like they were unaware of the situation. If you move in to commercial or industrial zoned areas you better be prepared for noise and activity. If it not what you want then don’t settle there. Its unfair and illogical to shutdown or harass someone or a business that was either established or in this case a zone where its allowed because that someone failed to assess and realize the situation or the potential thereof when buying. The fault and inconvenience is therefore solely on the homeowner who chose to ignore it….. plain and simple.

  3. Jeremy Campbell

    Struzzieri does whatever he wants, zoning laws and everything else be damned. He jammed the HITS site onto a residentially zoned area, instead of a site like Winston Farm. He avoids paying property taxes on the main parcel of land by hiding behind ownership of Family of Woodstock, despite running a multi-million dollar operation on the site.
    He clear cut well over 50 acres of land and was facing fines from Army Corps of Engineers before getting big Mo involved to take jurisdiction away from Watervliet and given to NYC Army Corps.
    Big Mo got involved as well in the Diamond on the dump, looking the other way as countless truckloads of contaminated soil and debris from the brownfield site were trucked up to Wash Ave long term parking area (near the AYSO soccer fields) and dumped there- about a football field size of piles.
    Tax breaks were also given to Diamond for all the high paying server and housekeeping jobs it brought here.

    So Saugerties residents just shut up and keep paying higher taxes….

  4. bill goonan

    This is a poorly written article because their were many people objecting to the Lynch development.Many residents tuned into the TV coverage and also thought the developer was very insensitive to the neighbors who would be very impacted from the increase in noise and traffic.He was aggressive and aggravated that the neighbors should stand up for their rights and deny him his vision for the property.His immaturity was obvious and self serving.

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