Valatie zone change refloats carwash plan

VALATIE–The Village Board has adopted a new local law to change the zoning on the property along Route 9 where the former Valkin restaurant building stands. The change from partially residential to all business means that both a restaurant and a new self-serve carwash could be located at that site.

The board held a public hearing on the change before the regular meeting June 13. The local law, which the board passed during the meeting, changed the zoning on the property from partially R1 and B2 zoning to all B2, making is all part of the business district. Mayor Diane Argyle said that about a third of the property was in the R1, or residential district, and much of that is wetland that is protected and will not be built on. She said at the hearing that “the B2 does not extend beyond that lot.”

The village Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) have been reviewing an application from BJ Cantele and Sting Ray Properties LLC to put a self-serve carwash on the property. Originally the plan was to keep the Valkin restaurant, which would reopen, and the carwash, but due to the old zoning laws the application changed in January to one that took down the restaurant building and replaced it with the carwash bays.

Bill Better, the attorney for Mr. Cantele, was at the public hearing and said this zoning change would allow his client to keep the building. He applauded the village for making the change.

Village Attorney Rob Fitzsimmons told the board that keeping the building on the site should screen the carwash from Route 9. “It should be a win, win,” he said of the zoning change.

Mr. Better and his client will have to present a new plan to the Planning Board and ZBA in the coming months. Those boards will have to review and approve the plans and any permits the carwash might need before changes can be made at the property. The Valkin was a restaurant until a few years ago when it was closed and the property was later auctioned at a foreclosure sale.

At a joint ZBA and Planning Board hearing several months ago Mr. Cantele said he planned to rent out the Valkin building to be run as a restaurant.

As for the proposed carwash, at those joint meeting members of the ZBA and Planning Board had concerns with the hours of operation and noise. There is also a concern from the village about increased demand on the village Waste Water Treatment Plant and chemicals the carwash might put in the system.

Mr. Better said his client will submit a new application for review by those boards.

Also at the meeting:

• The board passed a local law to allow the village clerk to live outside of the village. The current board thought the law had been passed several years ago, but found it had not been adopted, according to Mr. Fitzsimmons. There was no comment on the law during the public hearing

• The board approved getting quotes to remove dying trees in Martin H. Glynn Square and replace them with trees currently growing in a center island on Church Street in front of the Barnwell Nursing and Rehabilitation Center

• The mayor asked the fire company to look into the fire whistle. She said residents have complained the siren is getting louder and longer

• The clerk’s office will be open Friday, June 30, the last day to accept village taxes. The office will be closed July 3.

The next Village Board meeting will be Tuesday, July 11 at 7 p.m. in the Martin H. Glynn Municipal Building.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email

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