Parking spaces at Crossroads Plaza, traffic and construction details were the topics of the Peekskill City Council’s conversation regarding the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) required to move forward with the Monday night. The DEIS is a document that explores how the project will affect the quality of the human environment - how it affects land, water, noise, neighbors, traffic, pollution, etc.
John Lynch, the city’s planning consultant, gave the Council a brief report on the DEIS, which they received for review on June 11, and answered some comments and questions.
Lynch and others prepared the DEIS assuming that Park Street would be closed during construction, but the City Manager prefers that street remain open as a one-lane road, so Lynch had to revise portions of the DEIS, he said. At Crossroads Plaza, 54 parking spaces will remain available during construction.
Lynch also mentioned that the demolition and erosion plan that accompanies a storm water and pollution prevention plan is included. The discussion did not go into much involved detail about other information included in the DEIS.
Councilman Don Bennett asked if there were any historical elements in the construction area to consider. Lynch told him any elements with historical significance, other than (1141 Main St.) that is considered as “contributing to the historic district” that the city intends to demolish for the project, would have been removed during 1970s urban renewal.
Lynch and Director of City Planning Anthony Ruggiero noted that the house at 1141 Main St. had been compromised in several ways that detract from its historic significance.*
One of Mayor Mary Foster's several requests was for more information on how many parking spots are needed at Crossroads plaza to put the plans into context.
Once the city council adopts the DEIS as complete, they will need to pass a resolution declaring it as such and then then set a public hearing on the final document. Also, once deemed complete, the DEIS will be sent to the Department of Environmental Conservation and other agencies and parties involved in the project.
City Corporation Counsel Bernis Nelson advised the city to hold a public hearing on the eminent domain procedure at the same time as the DEIS public hearing. At this time, the man who owns 1141 Main Street has rejected the city's offers to purchase his property. The city to use eminent domain to acquire that parcel, if that becomes necessary. The Council is still negotiating with the owner and it has not yet adopted an action to acquire the property through eminent domain, Mayor Mary Foster told Patch.
The procedures mentioned above regarding the DEIS and the proposed use of eminent domain will probably take the next two or three months to complete, according to Director of City Planning Anthony Ruggiero.
The City Council is expected to discuss the DEIS at Monday’s work session.
*Editor's note: This article has been adjusted to include more information regarding the city's consideration of eminent domain and the property at 1141 Main Street.
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