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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 13, 2012 at 11:05 PM
This is a typical tactic used by the current administration for 2 reasons. 1. In the hopes that people forget about the issue and keep the heat off the issue hoping people will cool down. 2. So that the Queen B*&%$ gets her way and can get a plan together so that the plan goes through without any issues. There ya go, the B*&%$ has got to go!
leesther brown September 14, 2012 at 02:14 AM
Well after viewing monday's common council meeting put a Police sub-station down on the Dunbar Heights complex(an idea that was proposed in March 2005 by the PHA housing board back then) this can be accomplished by the City and State by applying for NAAD grant money,or other grant programs that way the residents in Highland Park,and Dunbar will have constant Police presence.I agree with Silent they are blowing smoke..And why hasn't Ruth Wells recused,excused herself from this issue? Like Darrell Davis she sits on the Shelter board,this is something Davis should be screaming about...
sayitsnotsojack September 14, 2012 at 11:01 AM
Real fear is some of these model citizens will decide to move into the area. Want to bet how many are on welfare?
Patty Villanova September 14, 2012 at 12:42 PM
Wait a second- it says that the Common Council hired its own lawyer, Robert Spolzino, to represent them? Since when does the CC get to use taxpayer money to have their own private attorney? To add insult to injury, it is the CC that is supposed to be representing the taxpayers of the City, not their own personal interests. Are they so afraid of getting sued personally that they need another layer of protection from an inflamed citizenry? Also noteworthy is the fact that the City already has a Corporation Counsel (salary is unknown to me, but must be over $100K) to represent them and the interests of the City. Additionally, there is other legal counsel available to the CC through the City's insurance which will hire attorneys for them in the event they and/or the city gets sued. (just like in the current case of 4 Men vs. City of Peekskill. you don't think these public servants will ever have to spend a dime of their own money, do you). Now the question is, who among the bleeding heart liberals on the various boards knew about this & when did they find out about the plan? If Foster, Klaxton and their Board Buddies really expect people to believe they didn't know this was going down, then they are insulting the intelligence of the people who live here, who will be most affected by their underhanded political games.
leesther brown September 14, 2012 at 01:40 PM
Patty, the City is fighting with the Insurance company,refusing to pay the premium and that's why the Deskovic case has not been settled. You gotta wonder how much the City pays/owes in outside Lawyer fees,I bet it's topped over a million already. Foster and Co. are looking to borrow and that way she will create yet another false 0% tax increase....#votetheirassesout...
jo September 14, 2012 at 04:52 PM
only in Peekskill Kids.. only in Peekskill... down and down we go..
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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