The White Plains Common Council voted Jan. 3 to approve proposed legislation to amend the city’s Zoning Ordinance to add Nursery Business as a Special Permit Use and add Organic Manufacturing as a Principal Permitted Use.
The public hearing on the zoning change had been tabled to the Jan. 3 meeting with hopes that nurseries in the city, residents located next to the nurseries and city staff would sit down together to work out existing problems and previous litigation.
Representatives for the nurseries once again petitioned for adjournment of the public hearing before the final vote. However, Mayor Tom Roach and several members of the White Plains Council felt enough time had already been given to the discussion and it was time for the hearing to be closed and a vote taken.
Councilman Dennis Krolian strongly expressed his opposition to the ordinance change, claiming that long-time family businesses might be put out of business by the changes and asked for one month for discussions to take place.
Amodio’s nursery had presented a letter to White Plains suggesting a public/private partnership in which the nursery would assume organic manufacturing at the city’s Gedney Yard. Mayor Roach said this letter did not have any relevance to the public hearing or to the ordinance changes.
Krolian argued that passing the ordinance change would expose the city to already threatened legislation that would be costly.
Councilman John Kirkpatrick, who had first suggested the ordinance change, said the public hearing had already been adjourned four times.
Councilwoman Milagros Lecuona explained that there had not been a Council work session in December, which might have given opportunity for timely discussion on the matter.
The vote went forward and the ordinance changes were passed with Krolian casting the only “No” vote.