The Putnam Examiner

Butterfield Public Hearing Set for March as Project Moves Forward

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By Janine Bowen

A public hearing regarding the proposed Butterfield redevelopment project has been set for March 4, but not everybody is happy with the project moving forward so soon.

Cold Spring Planning Board member Arne Saari was opposed to having the public hearing at the March meeting, stating that he is concerned about the adequacy of the proposed parking plan for the development. According to the proposal, there will be 55 dwelling units on the property with 63 parking spaces allocated for residents. Saari voiced concern that the majority of the units are two-bedroom apartments and will therefore house more people with more cars.

“If a third of these were one-person efficiencies then one space [per unit] is fine but the majority of them are two- bedroom, two-person and I can’t believe in that today’s age that there isn’t going to be a lot of two car families here,” said Saari.

Other members of the planning board, as well as consultant Chuck Voss, noted however that while some residents may have more than one car, other elderly residents might not have any vehicles at all. Attorney for the developer, Steven Barshov also pointed out that although the majority of the units consist of two bedrooms, it doesn’t necessarily indicate

that multiple people will live there. Many residents want two bedroom units to accommodate visitors, not a full time roommate, he said.

Saari was also concerned about the amount of parking spaces that would be utilized by the post office and government offices that may also occupy space on the site. Planning board chair, Barney Molloy noted, however, many residents could leave Butterfield during the day to go to work, thereby creating vacant parking spaces for employees who work on the site. According to Voss, the site will use a flex parking plan that will ensure there are enough spaces for everybody at all times of the day, even if people may not be able to park in a spot that is immediately in front of their destination.

“The mix of businesses and residential should potentially work in harmony because, theoretically when businesses are in operation during the day…they will have an abundance of parking being utilized but after 5 p.m. when businesses shut down… you may have a lot of vacant parking here that’s completely underutilized,” said Voss.

According to village code, 199 parking spots are required to accommodate the amount of people who will live and work at the Butterfield site and the current proposal calls for 213 official parking spots. Functionally, there will be 229 parking spaces, but several cannot be included in the official count for technical reasons. This includes 5 spaces in the below-ground parking garage that will accommodate compact cars and 16 parallel parking spaces that don’t meet the dimensional requirements for official parking spaces.

The planning board made the decision to discount these spaces as opposed to making them larger in order to avoid moving the curb, which would reduce the amount of open green space on the property. According to Barshov, the preservation of open space was always paramount in the development, and a

sacrifice of parking spaces was a decision made to maintain as much green space as possible.

“If there is going to be a squeeze, and many there will be one to some degree on some days and some times of the year, that’s the value judgment that the village board made was that parking should be squeezed and open space should be maximized,” he said.

Residents will have the opportunity to comment on parking, and voice any other concerns they may have about the project at the March 4 public hearing, which is currently scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at the Cold Spring Fire House.

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