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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.

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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