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Traffic Engineer Weighs in on Chilmark CVS Proposal

The planning board will send its feedback on the proposal back to the village board.

didn’t keep area residents away from attending of site plan reviews for the proposed CVS in the Chilmark Shopping Center.

While not quite filled to capacity, the crowd was vocal enough throughout the evening, prompting site developer William Biddle to express his discontent with the “clapping and snickers” as “counterproductive.”

With traffic circulation and safety as foremost concerns, the village's planning board engaged traffic engineer Georges Jacquemart, of BFJ Planning to review and assess the site plan.

“From a traffic circulation point of view it is a better circulation plan that we have today. It’s a site with a complicated history,” noted Jacquemart. “We feel it is an improvement over what we have today.”   

Jacquemart did express concern, repeatedly, over the potentially hazardous site access point—or cut through—between Pleasantville Road and the adjacent  property. The currently empty Chase property does not belong to CVS developer Urstadt Biddle.

Although William Null of Cuddy & Feder—the attorney representing Urstadt Biddle—suggested he would work with the future Chase property owner to rectify the configuration, the traffic engineer suggested otherwise.

“There has to be more than a promise to work together and we would like to seek a legal mechanism to remedy the problem,” proposed Jacquemart. A reciprocal easement, providing one common driveway for the two properties, was also recommended.

Null, on behalf of the developer, was in agreement with a condition regarding ingress and egress, but not an easement.

Residents weighed in as well.

Stephen Smalley of Orchard Road echoed the concerns regarding the cut-through as well as the overall safety of the traffic pattern.

“Traffic will be increased and applications are being made to the Ossining school board to bus children due to increased traffic," said Smalley.

Traffic circulation wasn’t the only contentious topic. Charles Mosello, who resides directly across from the proposed project, elicited plenty of chuckles when he suggested he would use the girth of the CVS wall to project movies.  Mosello asserted although the project is within the boundaries of Briarcliff Manor, the major impact is felt by the town of Ossining, which “will bear most of the impact.”

The audience erupted into applause after Mosello suggested that too many adjustments and concessions were being made in favor of the property owner.

Null concluded the review by summarizing, “we’re pretty much at the end of what we can do.”

The planning board will provide the village board of trustees with a list of issues, concerns and recommendations and continue the public hearing next month.

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Steve Cohen November 10, 2011 at 03:03 PM
It is not up to Briarcliff planning board or trustees to determine what entities a private business will lease their space to. Traffic, congestion, visual impact are all legitimate areas of concern. If it was up to me, we'd half the number of nail shops and dry cleaners in Briarcliff/Ossining and add a Five Guys, better Chinese restaurants and a ski shop but that is a decision necessarily left to market forces. I live in Chilmark and follow local issues but still don't clearly understand what the objection is to improving the shopping center. It is a tired, B-level commercial property right now.
Steve Cohen November 10, 2011 at 03:06 PM
I apologize. If that rendering is from Pleasantville Rd. the proposed building is way outsized for the community. Just how much commercial space do the developers plan to add? And why is it so darn ugly? Still, what goes into the space, as long a legal business, should be subject to market demand.
joanne November 10, 2011 at 07:26 PM
I am very concerned with the boards decision not to dismiss this plan and begin over from the start. I do not want to look at A huge dismal wall on the main road .....
stefano November 10, 2011 at 11:28 PM
We absolutely do NOT need another CVS!!! Prescriptions Plus is a nice drug store and if you really need CVS my goodness just drive 5 minutes. Plus aren"t they planning on putting a WalGreens on Croton Ave? What corporate mental giant plans these things? What we do need is a Pub...not a bar...a Pub where people can gather with their families for a medium priced meal.....With all the great high school sports in Briarcliff and Ossining it is the perfect spot for a pub/tavern where each community can get together and celebrate the great kids we have. Big screen tvs with replays of games during the week would certainly be a crowd pleaser.......
Steve Cohen November 11, 2011 at 12:55 AM
Whether we need another CVS--and whether it is a good idea for CVS to add another location in this area-- is not part of the decision equation on whether to approve the redevelopment. If you want a pub (which is a good idea) then negotiate a lease, apply for a liquor license and start a business. It is not the government's role in a democracy to tell landlords what kind of businesses they should rent to. Property rights are private rights, not public.

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