By Katie Krahulik
The controversy over the proposed project to build a new Yesterdays restaurant on Elm St. continued during the Village of Warwick Board meeting on Mon., Jun. 19. Warwick resident Edward Sattler read a letter to the board expressing his observations and concerns regarding the Planning Board meeting that was held on Thurs., Jun. 15.
In regards to the traffic study, Sattler was weary of its scope stating, “There was no mention of traffic approaching the site from Oakland Ave. through Burger King and Mitchell’s Corners, Orchard, or Campbell and Welling.”
While addressing the Village Board, Sattler explained that he had sensed a lack of preparedness and familiarity with the matter on the part of the Planning Board. He also commented on the “limited and too-late-in-the-game public hearings,” saying that New York State has a history of community involvement in land planning. He concluded with a request for the Village Board to review the video of the aforementioned meeting, as well as to monitor, videotape and make available all future Planning Board meetings for public record.
Patrick Gallagher addressed the Board as well, beginning his commentary by saying, “So far this board has offered those of us concerned with the proposed development of a 5,782 square foot bar in the midst of our village neighborhood very little guidance.”
He proceeded to demand that the Board provide clear and available alternatives for the project, insisting that the Village Board prepare to purchase it and develop it “responsibly” when it becomes available.
“We keep asking. We keep making statements. We keep writing letters. We’re not getting answers. I don’t even know how we get answers, but we’re not getting them. They’re not forthcoming,” Gallagher said. “We are, without exaggeration, fighting to preserve a healthy Village and the peaceful enjoyment of our lives within it.”
Trustee Eileen Patterson explained that the Board is doing everything they can to alleviate any and all concerns.
“We have, as a group, worked very hard to find out what it is we can do to answer your questions. You need to understand that there are parts of what you want us to do that we just can’t. We’re not allowed,” she said. “We are being as helpful as we are legally permitted to be. There are reasons that there are rules in place.”
Trustee Patterson suggested that if residents are concerned with environmental hazards and they have good environmental material to present, it can be presented during the site plan public hearing, which could potentially reopen the SEQRA (State Environmental Quality Review Act).
Zoning Law Amended to Notify Residents of Zoning Change
The Village Board held a public hearing to amend local law to such that if an applicant comes before the Board and wants a zone change, then they are responsible for notifying residents within 500 feet. In the event that the Village is changing its code, they would send out notifications on a case by case basis. Village of Warwick Mayor Michael Newhard explained that when the Board updates their master plan or does a zoning revision, it would get expensive to notify the entire Village. The amendment was passed by the Board.
Trustee Eileen Patterson wanted to extend her gratitude on behalf of the Warwick in Bloom Committee for the pots found throughout the Village. The Village Board wants to thank Warwick in Bloom for putting it together and the merchants and residents who donated.
Trustee George McManus said, “School is ending in three days. There will be more kids on the streets playing and so more caution will be needed.”
The Board also congratulates all children who are moving up in different grades or different schools as well as graduating seniors.
“We wish them luck and continued success,” Trustee McManus said.
Trustee Barry Cheney wanted to remind everyone that the Veterans display at the A.W. Buckbee Center is going to be extended again to the 4th of July.
“If you have not gotten to see it, please go out of your way to do that,” Trustee Cheney suggested. “You’ll be happy you did.”
Mayor Newhard announced that on Wed., Jun. 28 at 7 p.m. the New York Wind Symphony will be at Railroad Green as part of the Warwick Summer Concert Series.
The next Sesquicentennial event on the calendar is the Olde-Time Family Fourth on Tues., Jul. 4 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Warwick Community Center. The day will begin with a bike parade from Railroad Green to the Community Center and a contest with prizes for the most decorated bicycle will take place. Mayor Newhard explained that all are invited, but helmets are mandatory.
On Sat., Jul 8, the Warwick Valley Gardeners will host a Garden Tour, specifically of Village gardens, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The tour starts at Railroad Green. For tickets and more information, visit www.warwickvalleygardeners.com.
That same weekend, downtown will become a Picker’s Paradise during the sidewalk sale on Sat., Jul. 8 and Sun., Jul. 9. This event is sponsored by the Warwick Merchant Guild. For more information send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more Sesquicentennial information and a calendar of events, send an email to email@example.com.
Next Board Meeting
The next Village Board meeting will be held on Mon., Jul. 3 at 7:30 p.m. in the Village Hall, located at 77 Main St. in Warwick.