Peekskill Common Council Attorney: Corporate Drive Not Zoned For A Methadone Clinic

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The law firm representing the Peekskill Common Council is urging the Planning Commission to deny an applicant to build a methadone clinic on Corporate Drive. Photo Credit: Art Cusano

PEEKSKILL, N.Y. – The law firm representing the Peekskill Common Council on the proposed methadone clinic at 3 Corporate Drive has released a statement opposing the clinic before Wednesday night’s expected vote by the Planning Commission on the applicant.

The company looking to build the clinic, the Elmsford-based Renaissance Project Inc., was approved by the Planning Commission in the summer but did not notify those living nearby in Cortlandt of the public hearing on the clinic, so the approval was voided by the city.

Residents of both Peeksill and Cortlandt have voiced concerns over the traffic and safety issues that the clinic may bring to a district that has been zoned for office use, and a online petition protesting the proposed clinic has gotten hundreds of signatures.

Methadone is a drug used to treat recovering opiate addicts and mitigates withdrawal symptoms. Patients are given methadone over a period of time to wean them off heroin and are eventually weaned off methadone as well.

The letter, written by Riobert Spolzino of the White Plains-based firm Wilson, Elsner, Moskowitz, Edelman, Dicker, was released Monday by Peekskill Mayor Mary Foster. In the letter the firm argues that the clinic would not fall under the city’s definition of a professional office.

“The City Code defines a professional office as an office for use by person or persons whose vocation or occupation requires advanced training in some liberal art or science and whose work usually involves more mental than physical work,” said Spolzino. “That definition necessarily implies a use of limited scale. It is inconceivable to the Common Council that their predecessors who adopted those regulations would have thought that a clinic would fall within the definition of a business or professional office."

Spolzino also argued that the present location of the clinic at Hudson Valley Hospital Center sets a precedent as to where such a facility belongs.

“The fact that the facility is currently housed at a hospital is not insignificant,” Spolzino wrote. “It proves that the facility which will accommodate as many as 275 patients plus the attendant staff is not just an office it is clearly something that, solely by the virtue of its scale, cannot be considered an office as that term was intended zoning law.”

The Peekskill Planning commission will hold its monthly meeting at 7:30 p.m. in the upstairs Common Council chambers of city hall.

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