May 26, 2022 – A proposed auto repair shop in Saugerties, New York is facing opposition from people who live in the neighborhood near its potential location.
According to Hudson Valley One, Ryley O’Connor proposed a 60-foot-wide by 125-foot-long building with a 20-by-30-foot extension to serve as offices.
O’Connor currently leases the building where he operates his auto shop in town. This proposal would allow him to move to a new space that he would own.
Many residents of the area near the proposed location of the store are quick to voice their concerns. They fear the store will increase traffic in the neighborhood, make roads more dangerous, and add what they believe would be an unsightly building among their homes.
At a public hearing by the Local Planning Board, which O’Connor attended, residents made their voices heard on both sides of the argument.
Resident Pat Melville said the shop was simply “doesn’t belong in this neighborhood. And I’m sure none of you would let it be put next to your house. I don’t understand with zoning that he can put a building like that in this place .
Under current zoning rules, O’Connor’s shop is allowed in the neighborhood, but Melville argued the rules were different when he moved there and he wasn’t told about it. ‘a change.
People also came to O’Connor’s defense. A man named Joe Puma, who lives near O’Connor’s current store, said: “I’m more concerned about America and the people of Saugerties myself. This young man has built a company that we can all be proud of. He’s trying to start a business to support our neighborhood here. We should support someone like that. There’s no one better than him to show what Saugerties is all about, build a business, and support the neighborhood. Shame on us if we don’t.
O’Connor attempted to allay some of the concerns, stating that the building would not be an eyesore and that most traffic would be routed on a nearby freeway so as not to disrupt residences.
Other concerns included noise and the possibility of the building blocking views from homes in the neighborhood. A question was even posed to the council regarding which residents benefit from a tax reduction.
Overall, the purpose of the hearing was to review the application and get some questions answered, but that ultimately turned into something else.
“This is a public hearing, and the Planning Board is trying to get public comment so that we can take your comments into account as we review this application,” Planning Board Chairman Howard said. Post, in the article. “It turns into an argument, and we’re not going to have that.