2012-02-22 / Civics and Politics

Special Board passes report on Butterfield to village

Parking, building height among the issues
Tim Greco

The Comprehensive Board met with GreenPlan adviser Michele Greig Thursday night to meticulously go over changes and revisions ahead of finalizing their Butterfield report.

It was one more session in what is becoming a crescendo of meetings over the Butterfield project, an endeavor by developer Paul Guillaro that would combine space for retail, municipal government activities and senior citizen apartments. All would be built on the site of the former Butterfield Hospital on Chestnut/Route 9D, one of the last large development sites in the village.

Thursday’s meeting was sparsely attended and went on for more than two hours. The next joint meeting is on Tuesday February 28, at the Village Hall, where the plan will be reviewed. Last week, the Planning Board also met, on Tuesday, to review Butterfield.

Greig, an adviser from GreenPlan, suggested several changes to the Special Board on their final draft.

 The majority of the meeting was spent on changes to the wording of the report, especially on the matters of parking and the height of the proposed structures as well as “walkability,” design, streetscape, and saving trees and the grove.

 The board then made final revisions to the plan, with the board clarifying and agreeing on the revision changes that Greig suggested. 

  Greig said, “That the new development should be consistent with the character of the Village.”

 In refining the issue of “walkability” Greig said, “one of the critical concerns with the plan as it’s been presented so far is that it is really orientated around the cars, it’s not just that there a lot of parking lots but their location is right along the street instead of having sidewalks along the street where there are pedestrians  what you have instead is the predominance of parking lots along the street, so the orientation is definitely towards the automobile rather than toward the pedestrians.”

 Marie Early explained “The sidewalks remain, there are sidewalks there now."

 Greig said, "I understand but what you see when you are looking at the site the first thing you see is a parking lot, what you have is a road and there are cars driving right beside you on one side and cars parking on the other side it doesn’t really encourage people to walk,”

The importance of the trees and lawn being preserved was also addressed. Greig said, “Butterfield site serves a significant purpose as a gateway to the Village." The board agreed that in the plan, the copper beech tree among others will be preserved. 

The issues over the municipal, retail and residential aspects of the Butterfield site were all rehashed and discussed in detail.  

 At the conclusion of the meeting, the Special Board voted to submit the report with modifications and amendments to the Village Board. A full copy of the document is not yet available.   

 The report will now be under review Village Board with the hope of fast tracking it into reality. 

It is not yet known when the various village boards, including the Village Board of Trustees and the Planning Board, will conclude their review of the Butterfield site and when construction might begin. 


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