Letters (May 19-26)

mail-letter-sqFive hundred pounds!

Our local Riverkeeper Sweep event was a great success. Thanks to a great group of volunteer paddlers, five hundred pounds of garbage, consisting of a beautiful centerpiece, tires, a few Adirondack chairs, and lots of blue Styrofoam and plastic bottles from our Saugerties shoreline. Special thanks to all the volunteers, to Saugerties Times for promoting our event, to the Saugerties Steamboat Company for hosting us at the marina, and to mayor Murphy and The Village of Saugerties for taking care of our garbage pick-up! I’m sure our beautiful waterways thank you as well!

Gail Porter
I Paddle New York

 

A personal farewell

I am writing this letter to say goodbye to all the children and families that have walked through the doors of Mother Goose Nursery School at the Saugerties United Methodist Church.

It is never easy to say “goodbye,” but it is even more difficult when not given the chance. I have been so heartsick about being asked to leave Mother Goose Nursery School that I felt the need to reach out with a personal farewell.

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Mother Goose Nursery School was a way of life for me for 33 of the 40 years the nursery school was in operation. I was dedicated, devoted and proud to be a part of the program as a teacher aide, lead teacher and recently as the director, before the changes that took place to become a daycare center. I have had the privilege of meeting so many families and children and the added pleasure of having former students bring their very own children back to Mother Goose Nursery School.

Since I was asked to leave so suddenly, there was no opportunity to end this school year with any sense of closure to the daily relationships I had with the children, parents and staff members. I will miss all the daily activities of the school day, and all the children and their families.

My very best wishes to all for the remainder of this school year and my continued support of the Mother Goose program.

Lecia Siebeking
Saugerties

 

Friends of Lynch’s concerns

We, Friends of Lynch’s, are concerned about the impending special-use permit approval for commercial wedding venues at Lynch’s marina. This marina is in the village historic district surrounded by single family homes. The owners are advertising weddings of 300 starting June 1.

Our neighborhood would be adversely affected with outdoor noise, potentially every weekend of spring, summer and fall if commercial weddings with amplified sound are allowed outside the principal brick building. We hope the following conditions can be accepted: No amplified sound outdoors; no more attendance than parking on-site would accommodate; a sunset clause allowing review of the special-use permit in one year. There is a public hearing on this application Tuesday, May 31 at 6 p.m. in the village hall.

This is our planning board’s opportunity to hear our concerns and provide conditions before they approve the special-use permit. We implore the mayor, planning board and village planning board to take our concerns seriously. We appreciate their dedication to help Saugerties grow gracefully.

Robin Goss, Friends of Lynch’s
Saugerties

 

Treat the community as your own

People in cars usually treat West Bridge Street and East Bridge Street as arteries to get somewhere and not as neighborhoods. I am not sure Mr. Tom Struzzieri perceives our community on and around East Bridge St. as one with families and seniors who love our basically quiet neighborhood.

If he does, I plead with him to train his workers, especially those who will be shuttling wedding attendees to and from your new proposed venue. There is a speed limit here that needs to be enforced because we have the right to walk our street without fear: children, youth, families, seniors. And that we can hang out in our park and gardens without noise dominating our weekend lifestyles. At any given moment one can hear several birds as they nest, rap on high trees, and fly over.

If this kind of respect is beyond Mr. Sruzzieri’s comprehension and deep understanding, he needs to rethink and redesign his plans. We here do not choose to live in isolation as he may have raised his own children. But if he had chosen a neighborhood such as ours, especially when his children were young, I hope to think he would understand fully our concerns.

From a caring heart, shalom.

Mary Sarsheen
Saugerties

 

Quality of neighborhood at risk

The daily evidence of growth and change in Saugerties is obvious to any residents who get around the village or even go outside to sit on their porch. This is a good thing for our village, but much care must be taken by us all to make sure the enjoyment of our community is enhanced and not degraded.

The things I enjoy living on the South Side are relative peace and quiet, views of an historic waterfront (because it has been protected by historic zoning), and streets that are easy to drive up and down because they remain free of heavy traffic.

With the transfer of Lynch’s marina to the Struzzieri Enterprises the enjoyment of these qualities by our neighbors and all those who like to visit the village parks may be at risk.

The property that Mr. Struzzieri now owns is in an area zoned R-1W (the purpose of this district is to provide an opportunity for certain water-dependent and enhanced uses to locate on the waterfront, where access and services are appropriate, in addition to single-family residences). It’s also partially zoned historic.

Mr. Struzzieri is required to submit an application to the village planning board for a special-use permit which only allows for the use of the property as a restaurant, if it is to be used for any purpose other than a marina or a single-family residence. He has advertised that he intends the property to be used for a wedding/events venue with the option of indoor and/or outdoor events, catering on-site and offices. The definition of a restaurant according to Chapter 210-8 in our zoning law is “An establishment where food and beverages are prepared, served and intended to be consumed within the principal building.”

But he has made an application for a food truck which is a semi-trailer already parked on the property in full view of the street and residents who live on the hill overlooking the creek. Now anybody knows that a wedding reception means music, probably amplified. And if it’s outdoors, it will easily travel over the water and up the natural amphitheater of the valley and be heard for miles around.

I trust the planning board and the other agencies involved to practice due diligence in regards to all this, but I would hate them to be misled about the actual situation and feel pressured not to take the time needed to really review this properly.

Our waterfront is the heart of Saugerties. It’s where it all started. Let’s protect our heritage

Penelope Milford
Saugerties

 

Concerned about Lynch’s neighborhood

I am writing as a resident and homeowner on East Bridge Street in the historic waterfront district. I have lived here for 20 years. I am a public school teacher and taxpayer. I attended the planning board meeting to hear the request for a special-use permit for a restaurant/banquet hall at the former Lynch’s Marina. I have the following concerns:

Is a restaurant really the plan? Having a business like a restaurant that brings people to the Saugerties waterfront for food, cultural events, banquets, and acoustic music is good. However, the advertisement at Diamond Mills for the Saugerties Steamboat Company, at 2 Ferry St., is for a wedding venue which caters to up to 300 wedding guests with options for indoor or outdoor seating, tents, and valet parking.  This will require sewer, sanitation, and amplified entertainment and large tents for many people at once. That sounds like a commercial wedding venue.

Will it prevent waterfront use on weekends during peak water using season? I am concerned that weddings will upscale and prevent public access to the Hudson River from our village harbor during peak season. How will maximum water dependent use for all purposes on our limited waterfront be reconciled with weddings?

Will there be noise? How would noise issues be managed? As a neighbor in The Mill (90-unit residence for seniors on E. Bridge St.) put it, “We live in an echo chamber.” The geography of the Esopus Creek valley makes sound travel. Amplified music by a commercial party business is a serious issue. How will we maintain our quiet neighborhoods?

Will traffic and parking be safe for the neighborhood? People in my neighborhood walk their dogs, ride bikes, jog and talk on the street. During weekends in spring, summer and fall cars are parked on E. Bridge St., Mill and Ferry St. when there is music or shows in the park, it is fishing season or when people park their trucks for their boats at the bottom of E. Bridge St.

I am glad that money, effort and a vision for our waterfront are being offered. It is my hope that the elected officials and appointed committees in our village will use the priorities outlined in the Local Waterfront Revitalization Program, previously adopted by our village to guide them, as they assess development plans and requests for special use permits to develop our historic waterfront.

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Priority must be given to insuring maximum water access for boating, fishing, and water dependent activities for all of us in our community and maintaining quality of life for those of us who live here. Our precious harbor is our gateway to the world. Is a commercial wedding venue the best use of our limited village waterfront and the most appropriate for our residential neighborhood?

Rebecca Stoltzfus
Saugerties

 

Lynch’s marina redevelopment

This is in support of Robin Goss and others who have expressed reservations about the plans for a commercial wedding venue at Lynch’s marina. I live within sight (and sound) of Lynch’s. While I was happy to hear of plans for a restaurant, I am concerned about amplified music and noise into the night at the wedding venue. I hope that any permits will be subject to review after six months, and that the developer is open to the opinions of near neighbors.

Karen Humphrey
Saugerties

 

Regarding marina redevelopment

I am writing because I am concerned about the plans for a commercial wedding venue at Lynch’s Marina. I have often thought it was an excellent site for a restaurant, and am happy to think I might be enjoying meals there with my friends in the future. However, I also hope the plans for amplified music would be reconsidered in light of the potential for noise pollution on our precious and lovely Esopus, which is a great carrier of sound.

I urge that existing village noise regulations be strictly enforced, and I hope the developer is open and interested in the opinions of all his neighbors and that any permits can be reviewed within a six-month period.

Stephanie Glickman
Saugerties

 

Saugerties schools deter taxpayers

For years, a request to have the annual-budget information sent to the taxpayers (who are on the hook for $37,191,264) be in the form of a first-class business letter that reflects the importance and the impact of and to those taxpayers. Once again, the information is presented in a large non-profit mailing with a bottle of maple syrup on the front. While these mailings are immediately recognizable to families with children in the school district, and are used regularly to show school happenings, special events, class activities, etc, they are often tossed as junk mail by those that may be affected the most.

To add insult to injury, the budget information was sent to the taxpayers after the budget public hearing took place.

After the vote, we will surely hear the annual chant of the board not understanding why more people did not vote.

Our neighborhoods are hemorrhaging from neighbors having to sell or lose their homes due to property taxes, most of which is the school tax. The state is finally returning some money for education. Most of that “lost” money was made up by increasing the local property taxes. Now it is “found” money that the local school districts cannot wait to spend.

Please stop this nonsense and start including the taxpayers as part of the system.

Mark Hoffstatter
Saugerties

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