Story by A.J. Arias
At the Village of Warwick Board meeting on Tues., Feb. 20, Brian Singer, of Warwick Commercial Properties, requested a zone change to limited office overlay for 4 Overlook Dr., located off of Galloway Rd. in Warwick NY. The property is currently zoned residential.
Singer, the owner of the adjacent building at 2 Overlook Dr., would like to expand the offices of the second floor of 2 Overlook Dr. into the adjacent space. Singer has the space leased to be either office spaces or apartments.
An application for the zone change was submitted 11 months ago but has been delayed. Singer said the delay was due to the pending acquisition of the building in front of the site, 62 Galloway Rd., which was acquired on Nov. 1. He has since resumed the project, which he predicts will be finished in mid May.
Village of Warwick Mayor Michael Newhard noted an additional delay to the project, which was a long “laundry list” of things suggested by the building inspector before the process could be continued.
Singer claims most of the things had been attended to prior to his meeting with the Village Planning Board for the project. The remaining items on the list, according to Singer, include the acquisition of a New York Department of Transportation (DOT) permit regarding the placement of sidewalks along the property.
Singer stated that the issue of the sidewalk is one of debate over the placement of the sidewalks relating to their placement in the right of way of pedestrians and the proximity to the road as well as the slope. Singer noted that by the end of March he will receive a recommendation from the building inspector regarding the placement of the sidewalk. In order to obtain the DOT permit, he will be also be creating curbs from Overlook Dr. to Galloway Rd.
Singer also mentioned that the mound of dirt on the property is soil that he is using for the project, and he assured the Board that any remaining soil will be removed following the completion of the project. He also stated that there was proper drainage to ensure there will be no runoff.
Trustee Eileen Patterson commented that she wanted to make sure that should the zoning change request be granted, 4 Overlook Dr. would remain offices and would never return to residential living spaces. Although Singer did not want the zone to change to the more limiting General Commercial, he agreed to include a covenant stating the property would be used for office space.
Patterson expressed concern about current plans for parking and lighting with regards to safety. The layout of the parking lot has not yet been approved by the Planning Board.
Antoinette Quinn, a resident of neighboring 9 Galloway Rd., expressed distrust regarding Singer’s intentions. She also noted her frustration with the length of the three-year process as well as the lack of communication from Singer regarding his plans for the project. Quinn added that she also had concerns over what Singer had done already without the proper permission.
Finally, Quinn was also disappointed with the Village for their lack of communication regarding the zoning change request. The Village has since changed their ordinance mandating the Village to notify neighbors as best as they can when a zoning change is requested.
Singer said he had reached out to the residents of neighboring 6 Overlook Dr. and noted that they want the space to become offices due to previous issues with past residents.
No Parking at Memorial Park Pump/Fill Station
Red lines, similar to those placed in front of fire hydrants, will be placed at the pump/fill station at the entrance to Veterans Memorial Park. The lines will be placed in front of the bench that currently sits there by request of the Warwick Fire Department. Trustee Bill Lindberg noted that the bench was an invitation for visitors to park there and it would be moved.
Orange County No Longer Accepting Electronic Waste
The contractor that currently collects electronic waste for the residents of Orange County is pulling their bins and will no longer be accepting electronic waste. The County is looking through bids for a new contract but Trustee Lindberg noted that the process could take some time. Residents can still drop off their electronic waste at Best Buy or Staples. The Board is looking into finding another more local option.
Village Streetlights to be Changed to LEDs
The Mid-Hudson Streetlight Consortium is still reviewing bids to transition Village streetlights to light-emitting diode (LED) fixtures. Mayor Newhard noted that although the expenditure will be high initially for the Village, the payback should be quick due to the savings from the technology. Orange & Rockland Utilities may be adjusting their prices for the switch out according to Trustee Lindberg, prolonging the return, but still suggested it would be less than five years.
Upcoming Village Events Approved
On Fri., Mar. 9 from 7 to 9 p.m., a large panel will come together to discuss the opioid crisis in the community. The event will take place in the Albert Wisner Public Library, located at 1 McFarland Dr. in Warwick, and it is recommended that residents planning on attending pre-register for the event as it is expected to fill quickly and there is a limited space.
Little League Parade Set for Apr. 7
The Warwick Little League will hold its annual opening day parade on Main St. and picture day on Sat., Apr. 7 at the Veterans Memorial Park pavilion. Church St. will be closed on that day for the parade.
Autism Awareness Walk
Taylor Hall, a senior at Warwick Valley High School, will be holding a walk to raise awareness and funds for Autism Speaks. The event, as part of Hall’s Senior Project, will take place at Stanley-Deming Park on Sat., May 5, and will focus on the benefits of exercise and healthy eating for autistic children.
The event will consist of a meeting of participants at Stanley-Deming Park, who will then walk along Main St. and Railroad Ave. on sidewalks and return to the park where food and beverages will be available.
Trustee Patterson suggested that Hall encourage participants to park at Park Avenue Elementary School, pending the approval of the school district, for additional and convenient parking to Stanley-Deming Park.
Masonic Lodge Lobster Bake
The Warwick Masonic Lodge will hold their annual Lobster Bake at the Memorial Park Pavilion on Sat., Jun. 10.
The Warwick Fire Department will hold its annual 9/11 Memorial Service at Veterans Memorial Park on Tues., Sept. 11 at 6 p.m.
Village & Town Assist ‘Too Good to Toss’ Event
“Too Good to Toss,” an Earth Day event held by Community 2000, will take place on Fri., Apr. 20, Sat. Apr. 21 and Sun., Apr. 22 at Stanley-Deming Park. The Village Board approved an allocation of $1,172.50 to rent a tent for the event. The Town of Warwick will share in the cost of the tent as well.
Trustee George McManus was opposed to providing Village funding to a private non-profit organization for an event. He is concerned about the precedent it would set and that more non-profit organizations would expect the Village Board to provide funds for future events.
Mayor Newhard agreed there may be a “ripple effect” but that it would be in a positive way and could lead to positive change.
Trustee Barry Cheney commented that if other groups came asking for money, it would be up to the Village Board at the time to take each case-by-case in order to discern which ones benefit the community and that the Village should support.
Applefest Motion Tabled
A series of motions covering the logistics of this year’s Applefest were tabled until the next meeting by the Village Board due to a lack of inclusion of the Warwick Valley Community Center in the event application process. In the past, the Community Center worked in conjunction with the Warwick Valley Chamber of Commerce on Applefest.
Trustee Patterson pointed out that this will be the 30th Applefest and that the original organizers created the event for the Community Center.
Mayor Newhard commented to the Board that he believed the Community Center will benefit from Applefest and that there is a contract between the two organizations that specifies and delegates activities and earnings. Newhard will reach out to both the Chamber and the Community Center to confirm that both will benefit from Applefest prior to the next Village Board meeting.
Community Center Receives County Grant
The Community Center will receive a $50,000 Community Development Block Grant from the Orange County Office of Community Development. The grant covers maintenance, repair, and rehabilitation of the facility.
‘Think Differently’ Initiative
The Village Board adopted a resolution in support of the “Think Differently” initiative. The initiative’s goal is to provide a supportive and inclusive environment for individuals of all abilities by supporting community events that expand family friendly opportunities for people with special needs and their families.
The resolution stated that adopting the “Think Differently” initiative will better prepare all to communicate with, provide for, and support those living on the autism spectrum and with special needs.
The next Board meeting will take place on Mon., Mar. 5 at 7:30 p.m. at Village Hall, located at 77 Main St. in Warwick.