The citizens’ group Friends of Lynch Marina, citing concern about potential noise and traffic, say they do not support HITS owner Tom Struzzieri’s plan to revamp the Saugerties site for weddings and banquets. However, they do support turning the building into a restaurant.
To which mayor William Murphy, speaking at Monday’s village board meeting, replied with one word: “Bullcrap.”
“I’ve been listening to the village attorney all along on this application,” Murphy told local resident and group member Penelope Mulford. The site is zoned for commercial usage on the waterfront, he added.
Saying that they are for a restaurant “is the biggest cop-out by the Friends …. If an application for a restaurant was presented, you would be against that too because in the end it’s just Tom Struzzieri you’re against,” Murphy charged.
He added that persons from the group has been against anything Struzzieri has tried to do in Saugerties, including the Diamond Mills hotel and restaurant of which Struzzieri is co-owner, and the HITS venue.
Murphy also said it’s gotten so bad with some members of the Friends group that one of them, who he refused to publicly name, had sent him a threatening email over the weekend. The email, according to Murphy, said that Murphy should “watch his back,” and that they “would get him.” Murphy would not identify the sender, and would not say whether he’s concerned for his safety or whether he contacted the police.
Local resident Mulford told the village trustees at their June 6 meeting that they would be liable if the special-use permit application for the building goes forward. “Because the project is against the law of the village,” Mulford explained.
She also warned of legal consequences for the members of the village planning board who were set to approve the permit this week, and any village official who was involved.
As she reads the zoning law, Mulford said, no building permit should have been issued for work to be done on the site until the special-use permit had been approved. All work at the site, such as cutting down trees on the site, spreading gravel for a parking lot, repointing damaged bricks inside the building and pouring a cement floor in the building should have waited to be done until the permit had been granted.
Friends of Lynch say they do not support the use of the site for weddings and banquets citing concern about noise and traffic from the venue. However, they do say they support turning the building into a restaurant, Mulford insisted that opposition to use of the site for weddings was “not personal.”