Peekskill Mayor Mary Foster said the Common Council planned is meeting with attorneys to discuss the planning commission’s decision to approve a site plan for a methadone clinic near the Cortlandt town line.
“The Council is dismayed by the decision rendered [Wednesday] night by the Planning Commission regarding the Renaissance Project,” Foster said. “We will be meeting with our attorney's at Wilson Elser regarding legal remedies to have this decision changed. We are determined to make sure that our zoning rules are upheld.”
Foster said she is unaware of any past situations in which the Common Council has mounted a legal challenge against a ruling made by the Planning Commission.
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.
The Planning Commission had approved the the site plan in June, but was forced to start the process over it because it failed to notify the Town of Cortlandt about the proposal. The law requires Peekskill to notify Cortlandt because the project is within 500 feet of the border that separates the two municipalities.
Robert Splozino, an attorney hired by the Common Council from the firm of Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker LLP, sent a letter to the Planning Commission on Monday advising them that the methadone clinic didn’t meet zoning requirements.
The methadone clinic is listed as a medical office space, which is compatible with the general industrial the property is zoned for. But Spolzino argues that the proposal should be considered a clinic under the city’s code. Clinics aren’t compatible with the property’s zoning.
Before Wednesday’s vote, Chairman Douglas said the city’s building inspector and Corporation Council had made the determination that the clinic does comply with zoning and the Planning Commission had seen nothing to change that assessment.