The Peekskill Common Council made good on its vow during Tuesday night's meeting and moved forward with plans to appeal the city Planning Commission’s approval of a methadone clinic on 3 Corporate Dr.
The board passed a resolution allowing the law firm of Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker permission to file for an article 78 proceeding against the Planning Commision in state Supreme Court. Last month, the Planning Commission approved the Renaissance Project’s site plan for a methadone clinic in the northwestern section of the city, near the Cortlandt border.
Mayor Mary Foster said the article 78 was filed earlier on Tuesday. Although the Common Council shared many of the concerns listed in the state environmental review for the project, Foster said the council has to walk a fine line regard its response to the clinic.
“Our Planning Commission is given certain duties and responsibilities,” Foster said. “The staff is given very certain duties and responsibilities. We do not try to step over the line of each others’ duties and responsibilities. But at the end of the day, if we do not believe our laws are being upheld, it is duty of this council to make sure the laws are being upheld.”
Foster said the council has to be careful about the comments that it makes regarding while the case is in court. She said all questions regarding the methadone clinic would be forwarded to Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker.
The Common Council hired the law firm in September to represent its interests in the methadone clinic proceedings.
“Generally, we do respect the decision of our Planning Commission,” Foster said. “We know they rely on the advice of other parties. Sometimes, we all just don’t end up in the same place.”
The Renaissance Project proposes to combine the outpatient therapy program it currently runs at the Jan Peek House with Hudson Valley Hospital Center’s methadone maintenance center into one facility at 3 Corporate Dr. The facility could serve as many as 275 clients, but it’s not expected that the facility will have that many people at any one time.
Attorney’s representing the Common Council contend that the project is incompatible with the current zoning at the proposed site. Although the zoning allows for professional offices, the scope and usage for the proposed clinic doesn’t fit the city’s definition of a professional office, according to attorneys.
Residents and business owners have also raised concerns about potential increases in traffic and crime the clinic would bring if it is established.