Robert Ford wrote an article for your September 1 edition about the legal proceeding brought by 10 neighbors against the Village Planning Board and Struzzieri Properties, Inc. The law suit challenges the Planning Board’s grant of a Special Use Permit and Site Plan approval given to Struzzieri Properties for a restaurant/wedding venue for a maximum of 300 guests on the Esopus Creek at 2 Ferry Street, the former Lynch’s Marina. Mr. Ford makes it appear that the opposition to the proposed project comes primarily from residents of Cantine’s Island, a Co-housing community on Ann St.located close to the project. In fact, many neighbors of the proposed site, not only those who sued, and not just residents from Cantine’s Island Co-Housing, have sued and have expressed their concerns about the project to the Planning Board, especially its anticipated noise and traffic impact on the neighborhood.
The suit asserts that the Planning Board did not take a hard look at the noise impact (as the environmental law requires) if amplified music were to be played for wedding parties with doors and windows open. A hard look ought to include sound tests to determine if the noise levels generated from the building site would disturb the neighbors and violate the Village noise ordinance. No such tests were done by the Planning Board before making its decision. The Village’s Waterfront Advisory Board urged the Planning Board to require that doors and windows be kept shut when amplifies music was played. The Board rejected this request.
The suit also asked for a traffic impact analysis of the flow of vehicles down steep winding roads to the site from Route 9W and back-up onto 9W after the event ended. The safety of pedestrians and drivers in that confined area is in jeopardy, especially residents of the Mill, a housing complex for Seniors and the disabled. If safety measures, such as traffic lights, were required to make the flow of vehicles safer, Struzzieri Properties might have been required to bear the cost. Instead, if the dangers feared by the opponents materialize after the fact, the Village may have to incur the cost for the benefit of public safety.
Unless the parties can come to some agreement, the Court will have to decide if the Village Planning Board fulfilled its obligations under the State Environmental Quality Review Act.
Lanny E. Walter
Attorney for Friends of the Saugerties Waterfront