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Planning Officials Push Methadone Clinic Discussion to October

The Peekskill Planning Commission closed the public hearing on The Renaissance Project's methadone clinic proposal Tuesday.

The public hearing for a proposed methadone clinic in Peekskill is closed, but residents and interested parties have until the city Planning Commission’s meeting on Oct. 10 to submit comments about the controversial project .

Residents raised a number of health and safety concerns on The Renaissance Project’s proposal at a public hearing held during Tuesday’s city Planning Commission meeting. Issues residents had with the project, which would be located at 3 Corporate Dr., ranged from traffic to fear that property value might decrease.

Positive Directions for Peekskill, a community group that opposed the clinic, submitted a petition with more 800 signatures from people opposing the the project. Kim Izzarelli, the Republican opponent of Assemblywoman Sandy Galef, D-Ossining, in November's election, was also in attendance to show her support for Positive Directions for Peekskill. 

“We don’t want it in Peekskill,” George Ondek, a Peekskill resident, said during the hearing. “I’m telling you very strongly, the people of Peekskill don’t want a methadone clinic.”

Dan Doody, a Cortlandt Manor resident, said the site for the proposed methadone clinic is only two miles away from his home.

“In these times, the value of my house has gone down,” Doody said. “Putting a methadone clinic is not going to enhance the value of my home anytime soon.”

Brian Dyer is the co-owner Northbrook Contracting Corp., which is adjacent to the site of the proposed clinic. Dyer worried about the amount of traffic that would go through Corporate Drive on a daily basis if the clinic is built.

“It’s an uncontrolled intersection, it’s at the bottom of a hill, it’s in the middle of a horizontal curve, there are no signs...It’s the worse of all intersections,” Dyer said.

The proposal, which calls for the clinic to be moved into a building on 3 Corporate Drive, would combine the current methadone maintenance center and the Renaissance Project's outpatient therapy program, which currently run out of Peekskill's , into the one location. The Renaissance Project, which owns the property would renovate the building before moving in.

If approved, the facility could have as many as 275 clients, but those of clients wouldn’t all be in the facility at the same time, according Jeremy Doxsee, a planner for the city. The counseling would take place 6 a.m to 11 a.m., with administrative work taking place in the afternoon.

The Planning Commission initially approved the site plan in June, but Peekskill Mayor Mary Foster voided the plan because city planning officials failed to notify the Town of Cortlandt of proposal. Officials are required to notify the the because the proposal is within 500 feet of the Cortlandt border.

Because of this oversight, the commission was required to reopen the public hearing.

In a letter submitted to the commission on Tuesday, Cortlandt Supervisor Linda Puglisi asked planning officials to look into the impact the facility would have on a heavily traveled road, noise levels, the environment and nearby residential areas.

Puglisi also called on the commission to request a draft environmental impact statement from the Renaissance Project.

Robert Spolzino, a lawyer retained by the city’s Common Council, also sent a letter requesting that the planning commission extend the public commenting period.

The Planning Commission plans to discuss the proposal during Oct. 10 meeting.

Anyone who wants to submit a comment to the Planning Commission can do so emailing Anthony Ruggiero, Peekskill’s planning director, at aruggiero@cityofpeekskill.com.

Silent Majority September 15, 2012 at 01:13 PM
Wells has not excused herself because, the issue is not in her backyard! She wont have to see it, feel it, hear it or really ever deal with as she lives on the other side of town.
Patty Villanova September 15, 2012 at 05:13 PM
Thanks for the clarification, Leesther. It's not always easy to know what these guys are up to. You're probably right about the money spent on outside counsel. Someone should file a FOIL request to see just how much. They have to give up the information.
Wendy Kelly September 16, 2012 at 11:46 PM
Jo I couldn't agree more and I don't want to go back to those days ever! I never went into city in early 90's it was horrible. Keep the communicaton flowing it doesn't go unnoticed. All it will take is a junkie hurting someone and all the restaurants will lose their patronage and there we go Down Down We Go!
ED HICKEY October 30, 2012 at 12:13 PM
Once again I am compelled to implore any/all residents, Peekskill officials, Westchester County Officials, and our NYS representatives to take a good and long look at the pitfalls that loom for the City of Peekskill if this "approved" methadone clinic is to become the ugly reality that many, if not all, residents of Peekskill and The Town of Cortlandt vehemently oppose. You almost can't go into any local establishment in the city without hearing emotionally distraught residents talking about how the additional methadone site will negatively impact all aspects of Peekskill's quality of life, struggling business districts, and the city's recent plummeting reputation as spoken by many in neighboring hamlets. In a very short time, news out of Peekskill truly leaves many scratching their heads in disbelief that Peekskill's governing bodies are considering such absurdly detrimental labor cuts in essential services, including making the Police force as short handed as they were 25 years ago, approving another site for distributing methadone to intravenous heroin addicts, allowing their historical City owned Theatre to quietly close indefinitely as the board faced bankruptcy, and as unfortunately is most often the case, the disgruntled GOP continues to take every opportunity to stall or obstruct any potential progress by the current administration; note, not much has been notably positive by the current Democrat laden administration.
ED HICKEY October 30, 2012 at 12:14 PM
Wendy Kelly ... Once again you bring back memories of a time in Peekskill where entering the city was truly dangerous, as one would walk with crack vials crunching under your feet, gangland thugs were openly selling, and ironically, the Peekskill Police force was staffed just as our present proposed budget warrants! I have had the opportunity/displeasure of working at area hospitals with adjoining methadone clinics; despite the clinic's well known opening time for "business", a relatively large group of "in need" addicts would begin to congregate/loiter in front of the entrance up to more than a block away at 5am! Enough is enough with this "politics as usual" phenomenon and this cut-throat partisan war! Out with the old ... In, quickly with the new ... GODSPEED!

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