Red Hook CVS site plan discussions still underway

Attorney Anthony Morando of Cuddy and Fedder, representing CVS and developer TMC Northeast, returned to the Red Hook village planning board July 10 to seek site plan and special use approval to build the new CVS store at the old IGA site at 7568 North Broadway.

Morando expected the board to declare lead agency for SEQR so the state Department of Transportation would accept the site plan application and the process could move forward.

He also said the main store entrance planned for the southeast side of the building balances the needs of pedestrians and drivers. Engineer Shannon Rutherford, director of land development at the VHB Company, a planning, design, and engineering company contracted by CVS, agreed the entrance is well positioned for handicapped and elderly persons who drive to access the store.

But board chairman Mark Mirando and board member Beth Pagano said they want the entrance moved to the front of the site facing the planned pedestrian park on Route 9. They also said they feel traffic patterns could be improved for cars and trucks, especially for the northern exit, which they said is too narrow. Members David Pearson and Ray Towle felt the planned store entrance was fine, with Pearson suggesting a sidewalk from Route 9 to access that southeast entrance.

Attorney Morando repeated the applicant’s stance that changing the front would mean changing the internal layout of the store. Rutherford added that changing the layout would be a tough proposition for CVS.

Pagano demanded the CVS people provide some alternatives and she said that refusing to consider moving the entrance would mean they were being disrespectful to the “needs, wishes and values of the village.”

Newly hired consulting planner for the village Sarah L. Brown, of Frederick P. Clark and Associates, suggested two entrances for the store, one at the back and one at the front, but the CVS representatives didn’t like the idea for security reasons. She then suggested they simply retain their current plan but turn the store 90 degrees on the site. The CVS representatives agreed to submit the board’s ideas to CVS management.

George Beekman, who owns one of the five houses bordering the property on Cherry Street, asked about easements for two homes there. He said he had submitted paperwork two months ago and heard nothing. Rutherford replied that they did receive the property deeds and were investigating the distance between the other properties and the retaining wall the developer intends to build there.

The board then declared itself lead agency for SEQR.

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