Chatham Planning Board approves new uses for old feed lot

CHATHAM–The Village Planning Board has approved the site plan for the property on Hudson Avenue that once housed Blue Seal feeds. Four tenants, according to the application, will use the buildings on the property for two separate storage areas, a display area for marble countertops and for a bakery for Our Daily Bread.

At the August 29 special meeting, the Planning Board approved the plan presented by the current owner of the site Kurt Kneller operating as Railyard, LLC. Three of Mr. Kneller’s tenants came to a July Planning Board meeting asking for three separate approvals on buildings at the site. At the time board members said they needed the owner of the property to present an overall plan for the 6-acre site.

Mr. Kneller came to a Planning Board meeting earlier this month with a partial set of plans, but the board said they needed more details, including parking information and an understanding of which tenant would occupy each of the buildings.

The application narrative presented to the board by Mr. Kneller Monday states that the two outer buildings, previously used as a warehouse and storage facility by Blue Seal, would now be used for those same purposes. One building will be rented by Aaron Gaylord to house his construction equipment and the other building will be rented by New Leaf Tree Service to store their tree maintenance equipment.

The retail space will have two tenants. Zvi Cohen, owner of Our Daily Bread, applied to the Planning Board in 2014 to use the space as a bakery. He has no plans to sell bread at the space. The board approved his application to change the use of the space from retail to bakery.

Mr. Kneller plans to rent the other part of the retail space to Marveled Designs, Inc. as a retail “showroom for kitchen and bath design projects,” according to the application.

Mr. Kneller said at the meeting earlier in August that all the tenants will pay rent to Railyard LLC. He told the board that there was no other company handling the rent and no subleasing on the property.

“You’d be surprised the things people tell me… I’m doing with my own property,” Mr. Kneller said of misinformation about the plan.

The board conducted a short-form environment assessment and determined that the project would have a no adverse impact on the environment.

“We just need the procedure followed every time,” said board member Harry Pisila.

Village Attorney Ken Dow, who was at the meeting, said that if a new tenant plans to move into the space it would be up to the board whether that tenant would need to come to the board for approval.

The Village Planning Board meets the third Thursday of the month at 7:30 p.m. in the Tracy Memorial.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email

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