Peekskill Planning Commission Chairman Dwight Douglas presided over his last meeting Wednesday.
Douglas said he resigned in response to the Common Council’s ‘ill-advised and misdirected’ move to file an article 78 challenging the commission’s approval of a methadone clinic on 3 Corporate Dr.
The Planning Commission approved the site plan during its Oct. 10 meeting.
“Finally, my decision to resign is based solely on my own thoughts and objections to the course of action the Common Council has pursued and to at least partially lift the cloud that hangs over the Commission from the Council’s resolution describing our actions as 'arbitrary and capricious',” Douglas wrote in his resignation letter. "My decision is in no way intended to reflect the views of the other Commission members. The Commission, as presently constituted, consists of a highly qualified and capable membership well able to carry on without me and make up their own minds as to their willingness to continue to serve the City in this important and, seemingly, unappreciated role.’’
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 into one facility at 3 Corporate Dr. 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.
The Planning Commission gave the project site plan approval in June, but had to redo the process after it was determined that the commission failed to notify the Town of Cortlandt as interested part in the state environmental review process.
Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker, the law firm representing the Common Council, contends that the project is incompatible with the current zoning at the proposed site. Although the zoning allows for professional offices, the scope and usage for the proposed clinic doesn’t fit the city’s definition of a professional office, according to attorneys.
But Douglas said the city’s staff had already viewed the plan and determined that it fit the zoning criteria for the site before the Planning Commission began its review.
“Many residents and citizens signed petitions in opposition to the proposed application,” Douglas wrote. “Generalized community opposition is not an appropriate factor for consideration in site plan review, nor, for that matter, for any decision that contravenes the laws and ordinances we are sworn to uphold.”
A copy of the resignation letter is available in the PDF attached to this story.