It was a packed house for the South Nyack Board of Trustees public meeting on Tuesday night, Feb 8, as several South Nyack residents gathered to discuss a proposed zoning change which would eliminate a popular municipal parking lot. If approved, the new bill will take effect immediately upon filing with the Secretary of State and establish a new Light Industrial Office zoning district in the former village, which residents are concerned would restrict parking in an already congested area.
The committee members that attended this meeting included Trustee Michael Hogan, Trustee Jeffrey Hirsch, Mayor Bonnie Christian, Deputy Mayor Catherine McCue, and Trustee Michael Lockett.
The announcement of the proposed legislation from the Department of Public Works was poorly recevied by local residents, some of whom have been a part of the community, specifically Brookside Ave., for years. Residents voiced their concerns that a change in zoning could affect the character of the town, as Nyack is widely known as a residential friendly environment.
One resident expressed his concerns about parking availability on Brookside Ave. “They use it as an alternate parking lot, Smith Ave. So try getting an ambulance to park on both sides of the street on it. – It’s not easy.” He continued, “Now you have children on the streets playing, that’s when it will get harder.” The off-street parking requirements would impact many residents who express that they do not own driveways.
Christine Delillo, and other residents, raised concern about the zoning of the new purchase by the Town of Orangetown. She found it questionable that the town inherited Nyack Park. Delillo continued to explain that Jimmy Johnson, the Superintendent of Public Works, has been very cognizant of the situation. The Rockland Times reached out to Johnson for comment, but did not receive a response at the time of publication.
Other local residents including Dr. Kevin Williams and Sarah Williams shared statements issued by the community’s attorney Feerick Nugent MacCartney PLLC Attorneys at Law. “You need a few people that are ready to battle – Dr. Kevin Phillips and Sarah Phillips are definitely a force to be reckoned with.” Stated Delillo. The community had received legal representation through a GoFundMe campaign, set up by Barbara Diehl, in attempts to express their mixed feelings about the project. The collected funds are going to Diehl, who has agreed to hold the funds in escrow until their attorneys start the filing.
Towards the very last few minutes of the BOT meeting, Trustee Jeffrey Hirsch, expressed his receptivity to the residents’ concerns. Mayor Bonnie Christian and Trustee Michael Lockett agreed that it was a fair decision to hold off on immediately approving the law. The Board of Trustees have yet to make a decision in regard to the passing of the zoning district for South Nyack. The Rockland County Times will continue to cover this story as it develops.