As you know, the Town of Bedford Planning Board, as well as the Town of Bedford Zoning Board of Appeals is considering a conditional approval of the proposed Splash Car Wash project bordering Valerio Court.
A meeting at the Zoning Board of Appeals to determine a conditional approval has been scheduled on November 14th. However, in the interim, a major new development has emerged that completely changes the situation: specifically, a letter from Edward Burroughs, Commissioner of the Westchester County Planning Board, to Alexandra J. Costello, Secretary, Town of Bedford Zoning Board, that clearly demonstrates the County understands our grave concerns.
I've attached a copy of that letter for your review, and welcome your sharing it with your readers, especially since it is raises critical issues that affect, not only the residents of Valerio Court, but everyone in the town as well. Yes, my neighbors and I remain seriously concerned about the dangers of a high volume of cars entering and exiting over residential property, and the even greater dangers for our children who play in that cul de sac and walk to the school bus stop. Add to that, the sure-to-plummet property values, environmental hazards of air and water pollution...and you can readily understand our concerns.
However, beyond that is the much larger issue about why such conditional approval is even being considered, when the Westchester County Planning Board has asked the project to be reconfigured to accommodate the adjacent residential community. How do the Town of Bedford boards give such approval when the project does not square with the town's comprehensive plan which states that:
"Bedford will continue to encourage the balance between the commercial and residential areas, with the health of the residential areas being paramount. In particular, the Planning and Zoning Boards of Appeals should continue being sensitive to the potential impacts on residences when they adjoin commercial development, as applications come before these boards for change of use, variances and site plan approval. The commercial requirement of a tenant or commercial use are secondary to the town's long term interest in preserving single family residential uses contiguous to each of the commercial districts." Ch 6 page 54-55).
Quite simply, if the Town of Bedford Planning and Zoning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals do not stand up for ALL the residents of Bedford Hills, we are ALL at risk. Indeed, what happens when the next developer wants to build a commercial facility in a residential area? In that sense, no neighborhood within a residential area is safe if this is approved.
That said, common sense and the larger community interest should result in one simple solution: MOVE THAT PROJECT ELSEWHERE.
New Car Wash OKd for Splash's Bedford Hills Site
Neighbors Protest Car Wash Plans
Letter to the Editor: New Car Wash Site Presents Dangers
ZBA Postpones Action on Car Wash Variances