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Methadone Clinic Gets Go-Ahead in Peekskill

The Peekskill Planning Commission approved The Renaissance Project's site plan for a methadone clinic on Corporate Drive.

Four months is a long time.

But it wasn't long enough for the Peekskill Planning Commission to change its mind regarding The Renaissance Project’s proposal for a methadone clinic on 3 Corporate Dr. The planning commission reaffirmed the decision it made in June and approved the project’s site plan during Wednesday night’s meeting.

Planning Commission Chairman Dwight Douglas acknowledged all of the petitions, comments and correspondence that the commission received in opposition to the application prior to the commission's vote.

“We were able to review all of the correspondence that we received...and could find no compelling new evidence to change our original decision,” Douglas said.

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. 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.

Counseling would take place 6 a.m to 11 a.m., with administrative work taking place in the afternoon.

Planning officials approved the site plan in June, but they had to redo the public hearing process when they failed to alert the Town of Cortlandt about the project. The law requires Peekskill to notify Cortlandt because the project is within 500 feet of the border that separates the two municipalities.

Wendy Kelly, a Peekskill resident and a vocal opponent of the clinic, could only muster three words after the planning commission’s decision.

“I am disgusted,” she said.

Brian Dyer is the co-owner Northbrook Contracting Corp., which is adjacent to the site of the proposed clinic. Dyer said the road is suitable enough to handle the traffic the clinic would bring.

“We felt amongst us that we have made many, many compelling arguments against this,” Dyer said. “Then, with the added reinforcement of the common council’s attorney, a pre-eminently qualified 800 attorney firm that came out squarely on our side by saying it was not an appropriate use. For them to disregard that...to me it’s crazy.”

George Ondek, a Peekskill resident, agreed.

“It’s a dark day in Peekskill when 300 drug addicts will be coming here everyday, property values will go down, the so-called destination city will go down too,” Ondek said. “Who would want to come here?”

William Magwood, CEO of the Renaissance Project, declined to comment Wednesday.

Robert Spolzino, a lawyer retained by the Common Council last month, sent a letter to the Planning Commission Monday urging it to reject the proposal. Spolzino said the application didn’t  fit the city‘s definition for a professional office, which is one of the uses permitted on the site.

Spolzino said clinics, which he believes better defines the project, aren’t permitted on Colonial Drive.

Douglas said the city’s building inspector is the one charged with determining if project falls within certain zoning requirements. The building inspector made that determination with the methadone clinic before it was brought before the board.

“That is the only reason the application came to the planning commission in the first place,” Douglas said.

Joanie Sirefman October 11, 2012 at 12:04 PM
Unbelievable! This is so disheartening to hear - what could they have been thinking??????
Wendy Kelly October 11, 2012 at 12:40 PM
It is a good thing I said only " I am disgusted". I can't tell the public how hard and tirelessly our Positive Directions for Peekskill has worked keeping this clinic at HVHC. Money talks as we all unfortunately know.
Spruce Bringsteen October 11, 2012 at 12:40 PM
The city is kicking out the cops and bringing in the junkies. Weird. (P)eekskill has embraced the spreading haze. Ce n'est pas bon. Je vois une vache. Qui? Madame Foster. Expect a parade of needlers, dopers, bumrushers, mules, hopheads, mugwumps, pipers, flitjacks, hustlers, shadowdogs, bangers, holefillers, sticklers, mashers, root psychos, ward muffins and cavemonks. Should be an interesting Halloween. Cave canem.
sayitsnotsojack October 11, 2012 at 01:05 PM
Those you mention are the half way sane ones, you forgot the ones that are truly nut jobs, and dangerous criminals that will be roaming the community looking for targets of opportunity. If the head building inspector was the one who started this and approved it he should be the first one to lose his job when the city makes its' cut backs.
Patty Villanova October 11, 2012 at 01:50 PM
The arrogance of the un-elected, "see no evil" bureaucrats on the PB is astounding. I am shocked that Ruth Wells has become such a NIMBY that she would inflict this facility on her neighbors even though they clearly don't want it. Even more shocking is the fact that the elected officials on the council, the very same people who appointed these cronies, gave them the perfect out by hiring a lawyer who told them it was illegal to do this. What's next? More citizen/taxpayer lawsuits like 4men/ DMAC vs. Peekskill? By the way, the judge in that case recently ruled against Peekskill and the taxpayers will be paying 4men's attorneys a nice piece of change because, according to the JUDGE, (not me) Klaxton, Foster, et al deliberately destroyed emails.that most likely were favorable to DMAC/ 4men. I will be writing about this elsewhere because none of the "reporters" in town seem interested in getting the word out, even though they have the decision. It seems the only way to get justice in the 'skills is to hire your own lawyer.
Tina Bongar October 11, 2012 at 02:03 PM
I don't understand what the Attorney hired for the City is doing as I thought it was such a good sign for us residents that the City took action instead of throwing up hands, again, saying there's nothing we can do, we're not responsible for this, despite the fact that, obviously, a majority -- taxpayers and voters -- are against this... Unless they are planning to file an Article 78 and then present compelling reasons that the Zoning is non-conducive which would give them more time to challenge this, or, that they will have a much better chance of killing it in State court. The worrisome aspect is the supposed way the Hospital and Renn Project treat this like "a done deal." What's wrong with the process, and how can we change it, when a majority of citizens object to this project and obviously, this "use" of the clinic is best served by being at, or next to, the Hospital? Again, I'm glad the City hired an attorney in the best interests of the City -- now, use him.
Spruce Bringsteen October 11, 2012 at 02:28 PM
…hillsmokers, muskmen, railrunners, feedmonkeys, gimplehounds, melon rats, shrume dwarfs, Idaho snakers, crow bandits, Romanian shoremen, lancasters, hydrogoats, Victorian bushbabies, Indian castaways, vein stranglers, Philadelphia lampliters, Jersey juicers, all-you-can-shoot barkers, enema peddlers, turk dillons, rip willies, stompinados, tunnel munchkins and the like. From Hope to Dope. Put the 'done clinic in the Paramount. Use it for something, Vesce. Je ne voule pas la fleur de (P)eekskill – poppy.
Warwick Deeping, Borzoi October 11, 2012 at 02:44 PM
The only certain cure for heroin addiction is cold turkey. Give it a shot. If it worked for Lennon and the guy in Trainspotting, it'll work for you! Sure, it's harrowing, ugly and disgusting but that's life! Bring a friend to join the fun.
Wendy Kelly October 11, 2012 at 03:00 PM
Mary is going to bleed us dry in atty fees to save her face. Why would the PC clan hand picked by Mary vote "unanimously" for Meth Clinic? They are all getting paid from someone. I'll give you all one guess and bet you are all correct.
robert pidgeon October 11, 2012 at 03:11 PM
time to polish up on camara skills. if they want the clinic fine start taking pics of the ppl using it and post online. stop the ppl coming to it and then they will have to close it.
Michael Morey October 11, 2012 at 03:28 PM
Ms. Kelly, with all due respect, many of us, regardless of political persuasion, have been advocating against this clinic being established where it is. You may be able to generate more support for your local group if you didn't engage in overt partisan politics on this issue and instead stayed focused on the goal at hand. Between the campaigning your group has been doing with political candidates running for office and the insinuations about 'payoffs,' it makes it hard for people to get behind your organization. Would you rather not have the city hire counsel to try and find a way to stop this? Whatever your personal politics, I would urge you not to let them get in the way of getting something done here and instead stay focused on the goal, which is to see this clinic established somewhere that makes more sense, like a medical complex.
Mary Crescenzo October 11, 2012 at 03:33 PM
They can make a stop at the soon-to-be tattoo parlor in Peekskill on their way home.
Yaddayaddayadda October 11, 2012 at 03:39 PM
Is this brilliant move on the part of the "planning committe" going to make up the gap on the budget? I know those of us in the private sector are nott sophisticated enough to understand how this puts Peekskill in a better position movig forward. As a local business owner that balances my books, makes payroll and just keeps making money by REAL planning for the what ifs, I may have seen enough of this place!!! Real shame to watch and listen to all of the reactionary, no foresight, blame everyone but yourselves for mismanagement rhetoric! This town is overrun with social services that the government leaders seem to welcome but for what? If there is no clear and sustainable benefit (financial or otherwise) to the people and businesses of Peekskill for what you allow to be serviced here, why bring in even more? Where is the money for all these "our unfair share" services going?
Yaddayaddayadda October 11, 2012 at 03:40 PM
So listen... Stay in your blinders on, world of pissing off the locals and business owners...keeep taking on social services with no clear cut benefit...and keep acting like the state is the one to blame for your lack of knowledge and expertise in running a balanced and planned government.  Your completely oblivious and out of touch methods are evident every year when you put up shop Peekskill banners and take revenue out of your failed budget for free parking for "shop downtown Peekskill"  Where would anyone shop here?  
Yaddayaddayadda October 11, 2012 at 03:40 PM
And as for my non approved signs for the historic district...you can replace all of the signs you want with for sale and for rent!  Enjoy the peace and quiet when we leave this isle of mismanaged government!  You are so blinded by your own insulated view of Peekskill...a view only held by you...everyone outside of Peekskill thinks this place is a dump...and you are doing everything you can to bring that view to reality!
Anabasis Bob October 11, 2012 at 04:01 PM
I enjoy the pizza places and the Bruised Apple. I just hope some heroin monkey doesn't attack me while I'm enjoying my slices and Borzoi book.
Jacob October 11, 2012 at 07:58 PM
If they followed the law they had no choice
Jacob October 11, 2012 at 08:01 PM
Are you suggesting the city has the money to waste. If we have it perhaps we ought to use it to fix the deplorable conditions we force people to live in in public housing. Shame
Peter Goodson October 11, 2012 at 09:43 PM
LOL. Nice try Kane and Morey to try and bail out your political friends from their duplicity. Everyone knows that Foster, Klaxton and the entire council knew about the clinic purchasing their campaign contributor's property. He also owns the building where the homeless shelter is located and where the meth clinic operators are now. Ruth Wells is on the board for the shelter and they use the services of the clinic as well. She should never have even voted. Stern is a dem party operative. The vote should be challenged. The whole Planning Board are dem appointments who do exactly what they are told. This is just a lame attempt by Foster and the dem party to hide the fact they supported the clinic until they got caught. The jig is up and nobody will forget.
Peter Goodson October 11, 2012 at 09:45 PM
"By the way, the judge in that case recently ruled against Peekskill and the taxpayers will be paying 4men's attorneys a nice piece of change because, according to the JUDGE, (not me) Klaxton, Foster, et al deliberately destroyed emails.that most likely were favorable to DMAC/ 4men. I will be writing about this elsewhere because none of the "reporters" in town seem interested in getting the word out, even though they have the decision. It seems the only way to get justice in the 'skills is to hire your own lawyer." - Patty V. Very interesting bit of info. Patty. Is this judgement found online anywhere?
Wendy Kelly October 12, 2012 at 12:08 AM
Bravo Peter Goodson keep us informed on all that you know or hear. Mary Foster and council members are the most corrupt people I have ever met. That includes you Darren Rigger you couldn't find your way out of a bag if you tried. When I met you at the station I knew you were a no good wessel your main concern was where the petition were located. Nothing about the people of Peekskill. Guess it was you that went and stole the petitions that were posted at local establishments. Okay instead of the goal of 1500 I was only able to obtain 1000. Hope you are happy that I have exposed your political tactics. Guess Mary set you up to do all the dirty work.
Wendy Kelly October 12, 2012 at 12:24 AM
Mr. Michael Morey you say you have been advocating against exactly where have you been doing this? What media source have you been using? I have never seen you at a meeting or heard your name ever before. This has nothing to do with partisan politics it is about the current city government. Where have I ever said anything pro or con about either party. Time you stop judging people on unfounded innuendos.
Peter Goodson October 12, 2012 at 03:13 AM
Wendy, Morey is a former chairman of the Peekskill Democtratic Party and the architect behind much of the tactics used to deceive the public over this and many other issues. He is also the one who groomed Foster and Klaxton to run for office. He and Rigger are the "brains" behind the party and orchestrate much of what you and many residents are finally seeing through. They are responsible for the destruction of the city. Morey works for Chucky Shumer and Rigger for Charlie Rangle - nuff said.
ED HICKEY October 12, 2012 at 03:14 AM
I am simply stunned that this project appears to actually be coming to fruition! Is it possible that Linda Pugliese, Town Supervisor for Cortlandt, could have any true say (as in nay!) considering the Town of Cortlandt must also approve the project since the property is within 500 feet of the town line?? The rumors surrounding the sale of the property ... concurrent ownership of other properties that conduct the same business/service ... and this same owner being a major campaign contributor is sobering as it only mimics the same corruption that many past adminisrations were guilty of. Politics as usual in Peekskill; community will continue to see decline. Hopefully the proposed budget cuts that include the cutting of Peekskill police officers bringing the department to 54 fulltime officers ... lowest in 25 years, because the city will certainly need them as addicts line up in front of the clinic two hours before it opens waiting for their methadone! It truly is disheartening that greed, corrupt politics, and collateral casualities from this maddening republican/democrat cage match we have been reading about and hearing about forever. Turbulent times are upon us ... but the days that are ahead will umfortunately leave us pining for today.
leesther brown October 12, 2012 at 04:02 AM
@Peter Goodson,You ain't never lied!!!!
Snake Plisken October 13, 2012 at 02:21 AM
you forgot "tweekers"....:-) I thought they wanted Peekskill to be the "jewell of the Hudson"...the Paramount is closed..downtown is just as depressed and border-line "blighted" as when we first moved up here from NYC 8 years ago..it's a joke. We had a meth clinic right across the street from where we lived on 2nd Ave and 25th..it's a beautiful thing to see people nodding out on the corners..just like being on-set of "the Walking Dead"..you want tourists?..the only "tourists" you're gonna get now...are mopes looking to cop. Lot's of luck with that......
Snake Plisken October 13, 2012 at 02:56 AM
...and speaking of the failing Paramount..it's also interesting how whenever there's a show..especially a "Gala" event...they announce how Entergy is a "proud sponsor" How "proud" are they?..with 11 BILLION dollars in revenue in 2011..you figure they could dig a little into those extremely deep pockets..and come up with the mere pittance the venue needed to be saved...another joke. "Makes me wanna holler..throw up both my hands".......
Wendy Kelly October 13, 2012 at 07:21 PM
Ed Hickey I have been told Cortlandt can't do a damn thing about this. It is a City of Peekskill decision. Linda P has written three letters of opposition and requested a DEIS that they did not do. It is all a sham. I feel sorry for those that bought at Riverfront Chapel Hill at the peak. Down down we go Peekskill.
ED HICKEY October 14, 2012 at 12:05 PM
Thank you kindly Wendy Kelly for bringing me up to speed regarding the Town of Cortlandt/Linda Pugliese and the collective potential influence, or lackthereof (head hanging low) on the realization of ground breakingfor the recently approved methadone clinic (sigh). Outstanding point above also regarding Entergy (not so proud) sponsor apparently of Peekskill's (closed indefinately) Paramount Theatre; this is a major blow to Peekskill and many lifers that now the cultural and historical significance of the beautiful theatre.
Snake Plisken October 14, 2012 at 02:58 PM
another point about Entergy..if they did dig deep to save the Paramount..by "donating" the 300K.."proud sponsors" that they are...the entire amount would be a tax-write off..so it would cost them...nada!

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