The Elm St. property that has been so hotly contested has been zoned some form of Industrial or Commercial Zone for the last 50 years. This information is important as it gives clarity to the history of Village zoning. This Light Industrial Zone does not sit alone, and it stretches through the very core of the Village and follows the railroad corridor. Along the way, the zone touches residential districts. A village is made up of many zones that over time merge, grow and diminish based on the needs of the community.
In the early 20th century the Elm St. lot was an active train yard. When the activity was no longer viable, the lot was eventually used to hold inventory for the growing car sales trade. The Village of Warwick has been attentive to the importance of re-examining its zoning. In 2009, after a lengthy process of re-writing its Comprehensive Plan, the Village made changes to its zoning including the change of Industrial Zoning to a more environmentally protective Light Industrial Zone.
The concessions and changes in the site plan made by Mr. Christison of limiting outdoor seating, an 8 p.m. curfew on outside activity, no outdoor speakers, and a quieter exhaust system are all appropriate to the site and its proximity to the neighbors. Based on the site plan, buffers, both vegetative and fencing, will further shield the neighbors, and lower light poles will be used to spread less light – again a positive response.
These changes came from comments at the Public Hearing, letters to the Planning Board and verbal statements by neighbors at multiple Village Board meetings.
The Elm St. property and Yesterday’s application has been a planning process. It may not be perfect, but a great deal of information is assimilated, responded to and decisions are weighed. A Village by its very nature is a dynamic place. Over the past 20 years we have weathered disastrous storms and a fallen national economy. In the end, we emerged stronger through our resilience and unique strength.
This application has been an emotional and often personal issue but in the end facts and information prevail and as in the past, that even through our greatest difficulty, we will heal to be a stronger Village.