PEEKSKILL, N.Y. – The Peekskill Daily Voice accepts original, signed letters to the editor. Letters may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Editor's Note: The letter below was submitted to the Peekskill Planning Commission last month during a hearing on a proposed Renaissance Project methadone clinic. The author, Brian Dyer of Northbrook Contracting, asked that it be submitted as a letter to the editor.
Dear Mr. Douglas and Commission Members,
First of all, I want to thank you for listening to those of us last night who voiced our concerns regarding approval of the above application.
I wish to confirm another concern that I have as the adjacent property owner to the Renaissance parcel and the owner of Corporate Drive itself. I am very concerned with the added burden of maintaining this pavement. Please note the following:
Again, Corporate Drive is merely a glorified driveway. It is a 20-foot-wide dead-end driveway. It was a private driveway, exclusively for the use of the original developer, for 20 years or so, until the single parcel was subdivided in 2000.
For the last 12 years, since we bought our building, the driveway, although still private, is used not only by my staff but also City of Peekskill trucks and equipment accessing the city-owned property in the back.
The volume of traffic on Corporate Drive is minimal. But even with this very modest usage, the condition of Corporate Drive has deteriorated over the years. The pavement is about 30 years old and has minimal drainage capacity. It has become a washboard of patches and potholes, including the substandard pavement restoration of utility crossings installed by Mr. Miller some years ago. We maintain it as best we can. It will never be mistaken for Park Avenue but it suits our needs. However, introducing an additional 500 or more vehicles entering or exiting Corporate Drive each day servicing the proposed methadone clinic will surely cause the pavement to fail at an accelerated rate.
The Corporate Drive pavement was not intended or designed for this type of loading.
The subdivision of the property 12 years ago created an "access and utility easement" along the driveway but it is still a private drive.
Do you expect me to absorb the additional costs to maintain the pavement for the benefit of the Renaissance clinic? Even seasonally, am I expected to clear the pavement of snow by 6 a.m. because the applicant opens for business at 6 a.m.?
Finally, I am concerned about my potential liability if someone falls or has an auto accident on Corporate Drive. The likelihood of such an incident increases exponentially with 250 or more people either awaiting their methadone treatment or those that have just received their methadone. There is no dispute — methadone is an opiate. Dr. Norton touched on a short list of side effects, any one of which will surely impair judgment and motor skills. The what-ifs are endless and none of them are good for me — or frankly fair to me.
OK, the above issue and those in the attached memo are the causes of my concerns. Now what are the effects, in my opinion? By your approving this proposal, you are imposing a severe hardship on me on many levels:
It would without question significantly lower the value of my property. I trust you would agree that a methadone clinic 300 feet from my front door is not an attraction to prospective buyers of my property.
If approved, there is no doubt that I will have to enhance the security of my building and yard. I will likely have to restrict entry to the building (perhaps security cameras and a buzzer system to allow entry). Not only does this create a "bunker mentality" that I find distasteful but it will cost real money to set up and maintain.
And on top of all of this, I will no doubt have to spend considerable additional money to maintain my private drive for the benefit of 250 or more unwanted neighbors.
In my many years working in Corporate Drive, first for the original developer of the property throughout the 1980s and for the last 12 years in my own business, I have always enjoyed a very cordial relationship with the City of Peekskill. I sincerely believe that during these nearly 30 years since Mayor Jackson welcomed us to the neighborhood that the city government has guided Peekskill on a very positive course. Great strides have been made in resurrecting this town. We regularly go downtown to lunch at a number of new restaurants where that was never even considered years ago. Many of my colleagues who live here said how much they enjoy the weekend activities in Peekskill as well.
In short, I have always been impressed by the way the City of Peekskill has conducted its business — for the good of the city and its residents, until now that is. In my opinion, this single transaction — approving a methadone clinic servicing 275 people every day — will reverse, or at least slow, the tremendous positive momentum that the city has experienced in recent years.
I strongly urge the city to look carefully at the benefit vs. the cost of approving this application before a final determination is made. Certainly from my and my neighbors' (both residential and commercial) prospective, the benefits are none and the costs to the city, both near and long term, are significant.
Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter.
Brian R. Dyer