Valatie carwash developer floats two possible options

VALATIE–The village Planning Board and the Zoning Board of Appeals held a joint meeting last week to hear plans for a new carwash on Route 9 at the site of what was the Valkin Restaurant. The boards looked at a design for the carwash that would replace the restaurant building and also a design with carwash built behind the former Valkin.

The boards did not have an application in front of them at the December 7 meeting, though both boards had reviewed applications from B.J. Cantele to put a carwash on the site at separate meetings last month. Members of both boards had questions about the applications, including what applications would be needed for the ZBA to reach a decision.

At the joint meeting Mr. Cantele’s lawyer, Bill Better, said that his client was not asking for the boards to commit to anything yet. “We were going to use this meeting to take the temperature of both the boards,” he said.

Mr. Cantele’s engineer from Crawford Engineering came to the meeting with two different plans. The one that retains the restaurant structure would locate the carwash behind the existing building. That approach would require that village ZBA grant Mr. Cantele a zoning law variance, since part of the property lies in a residential zone. Mr. Cantele would also have to receive special use permit from the ZBA and the plan would need the approval of the Planning Board.

If Mr. Cantele goes with the second plan, which would involve demolishing the Valkin building, the carwash would replace the former restaurant. In that case, he would need only a special use permit but not a variance because the Valkin building is within a business district.

There already are businesses on that part of Route 9, including the Bagel Tyme cafe and an existing carwash called the Valkin Carwash across the street from Mr. Cantele’s property.

Mr. Better told the boards that his client does not want to tear down the old restaurant building, saying, “They’d rather have something the community would support.”

There is a Facebook page that supports keeping the Valkin, a restaurant and bar until it closed about two years ago. Mr. Better said that the building is not on any historic registers.

One of the major issues with the site is water and sewer service. Board members questioned whether the water and sewer systems in the village could handle the carwash. Mr. Cantele said it could be as many as 200 cars a day at the self-service carwash during the busy season. He also said there might be no cars. The plan includes vacuums and a dog wash station.

Mr. Cantele said that he had reached out to village Water Superintendent Paul Warner and had not heard back.

Valatie Mayor Diane Argyle, who was at the meeting, said that Mr. Warner was talking to the state Department of Environmental Conservation about the issue. “He’s going through DEC,” she said.

Village Attorney Rob Fitzsimmons clarified that Mr. Warner was the person who has the authority to allow the new carwash to use village water and sewer service.

“We are obviously going to follow DEC guidance,” Mr. Fitzsimmons said.

Other board members brought up Mr. Cantele’s plan to operate the carwash 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They discussed the access points to the carwash from the off ramp that connects Routes 9H and 9.

ZBA member Tom Puchner brought up the possibility that the Village Board could amend the local zoning law so that all of the Valkin property would be in the business district. Mr. Better said that would mean dealing with three boards instead of two.

“This all boils down to the Valkin,” said Mr. Cantele. “I care about the Valkin; that’s why we’re doing this,” he told the board.

Comments are closed.