After waiting more than one hour at the October 17 meeting of the Sleepy Hollow Zoning Board of Appeals, residents and representatives of the Open Door Family Medical Center were denied the opportunity to speak about Open Door’s proposed relocation to 1 New Broadway.
The public hearing was abruptly cancelled by chair Peter Koffler because “one property was not noticed.” Local law requires that all residences within 200 feet of the location in question receive advance notification of public hearings by registered mail.
“I just found out about this at 8:10 this evening,” said Geraldine Tortorella, a land-use attorney representing Open Door. “There is a bit of frustration on our part because this is the same list we used for notifications for the Planning Board public hearing.”
Tortorella said the list was not provided directly by the village, but neither she, nor Village Engineer Sean McCarthy could explain the discrepancy. “There was one house on Katrina Avenue that was not noticed. Someone made a mistake,” said McCarthy. “It happens.”
“I don’t feel we are being treated very well,” said Lindsay Farrell, president and CEO of Open Door, which operates four not-for-profit health centers in the region. “We had two lawyers there, plus a traffic engineer and an architect. Everyone is getting paid. It is so expensive. There is no reason they couldn’t have told us in advance.”
Open Door Family Medical Centers acquired 1 New Broadway (formerly called 300 North Broadway) in Sleepy Hollow in February 2011 from privately owned Grotto Holding Corp. for $2.4 million. Between the new building and its current location on Beekman Avenue, Open Door pays nearly $100,000 in property taxes, according to Farrell.
Nearby neighbors in Webber Park have expressed opposition to Open Door’s occupation of the building, citing potential traffic and parking problems and unsafe conditions for pedestrians.
The public hearing has been rescheduled for November 14.