Water Tests Taken in Area of Proposed Substance Abuse Hospital

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The results of water tests taken in the surrounding area of a proposed luxury substance abuse hospital on Quaker Ridge Road in Cortlandt were unveiled to the town’s Planning Board last week.

Water concerns have been one of several issues raised by neighbors regarding Hudson Ridge Wellness Center’s 92-bed residential treatment center project on 20 acres.

Robert Davis, an attorney for Hudson Ridge, told planners 16 wells were studied during a 72-hour pumping test between August 20-23 that was approved by the town and Westchester County Health Department. He noted 67 owners of wells in the vicinity were invited to participate.

“We feel the results were very favorable,” said Davis, whose assertion of a viable water supply was later supported by a town consultant.

However, David Steinmetz, an attorney representing Citizens for Responsible Hudson Institute Site Development (CRHISD), cautioned planners not to take the results at face value since many homeowners, some of whom have experienced water woes in the area for years, still had doubts about the impact of the project.

“There’s still a tremendous amount of concerns about the impact this project will have on well water,” he said, noting residents were not given advanced notice of Hudson Ridge’s appearance last week. “Neighbors have been monitoring this every step of the way and we look forward to participating in the process moving forward.”

Hudson Ridge purchased the property in 2010 and began restoring the seven buildings. The site was once used as a hospital for people suffering from substance abuse. In July 2015, Hudson Ridge submitted an application for a special use permit with a site plan to establish a high-end specialty hospital. Those plans were then stalled by a nine-month moratorium imposed two months later by the Cortlandt Town Board. Hudson Ridge sought to obtain a variance from the Town Board from the moratorium on the basis of a hardship, but were denied.

According to Davis, representatives of Hudson Ridge will be appearing at the Planning Board’s January 8 meeting to discuss the results of a traffic analysis conducted. In the past, CRHISD members have questioned a traffic analysis previously submitted by Hudson Ridge, which estimated vehicles will make 110 trips daily to and from the facility. That estimate is lower than previous counts from the applicant, and lower than estimates made by the town’s consultant.

Hudson Ridge is seeking a variance from the Town Code not requiring the hospital to be constructed on a state roadway. The town’s Zoning Board of Appeals is unable to make a ruling on that request until the Planning Board completes the State Environmental Quality Review Act process.

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