Ir­ish Cul­tural Cen­ter de­ci­sion de­lay likely

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - By Paul Kirby pkirby@free­manon­ paulat­free­man on Twit­ter

KINGSTON >> The city Plan­ning Board is not likely to make a de­ci­sion on the pro­posed Ir­ish Cul­tural Cen­ter at its meet­ing next week, a city of­fi­cial said.

City Plan­ner Suzanne Cahill said the board con­tin­ues to con­sider com­ments made at an Oct. 5 pub­lic hear­ing. Mem­bers also are read­ing com­ments sub­mit­ted in writ­ing, Cahill said.

The city’s Plan­ning Of­fice ac­cepted writ­ten com­ments un­til Wednes­day, Cahill said.

Ad­di­tion­ally, Cahill said that, while rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Ir­ish Cul­tural Cen­ter had said at the pub­lic hear­ing that the plan had been scaled back, the Plan­ning Of­fice has not re­ceived new pa­per­work scal­ing back the plan.

“We have not seen any re­vised draw­ings,” Cahill said. “I do not be­lieve that, with the in­for­ma­tion that has ... yet to come in for the board to re­view, ... that they will have the abil­ity (to make a de­ci­sion at the board’s Oct. 17 meet­ing).”

The Plan­ning Board is charged with grant­ing both site plan ap­proval and a de­ter­mi­na­tion of en­vi­ron­men­tal sig­nif­i­cance.

Ear­lier this month, Cahill, along with Plan­ning Board Chair­man Wayne Platte, said there was a pos­si­bil­ity a de­ci­sion could be made at the Oct. 17 meet­ing on whether the project would have a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on the en­vi­ron­ment.

Kin­ston at­tor­ney Ronald Pordy, who is rep­re­sent­ing the spon­sors of the cen­ter, said his is was not ex­pect­ing a de­ci­sion at the next Plan­ning Board meet­ing.

Pordy said the plans are be­ing re­vised for re­sub­mis­sion to the Plan­ning Of­fice.

“We are try­ing to put to­gether a new pack­age show­ing some re­vi­sions,” Pordy said. “That takes a sub­stan­tial amount of work to change the de­sign and to (cre­ate) ac­com­pa­ny­ing doc­u­ments.”

At the Oct. 5 pub­lic hear­ing, Ir­ish Cul­tural Cen­ter sup­port­ers an­nounced the pro­posed build­ing would be nar­rowed by 3 feet, 2 inches and re­duced by 1.5 feet in height.

Fol­low­ing the ses­sion, they said the project is an­tic­i­pated to be re­duced from 16,889 square feet to about 16,129 square feet — a 4.5 per­cent re­duc­tion — but were wait­ing for fi­nal draw­ings be­fore sub­mit­ting the re­vi­sion.

Other changes in­clude: build­ing a the­ater with 174 seats, an 11-seat re­duc­tion; banquet hall at 120 seats, a 30-seat re­duc­tion; and a pub at 70 seats, a 10-seat re­duc­tion.

Also at the Oct. 5 pub­lic hear­ing, the Plan­ning Board was asked by slightly more than half of the 34 pub­lic hear­ing speak­ers to de­clare that the pro­posed Ir­ish Cul­tural Cen­ter at 32 Abeel St. would have en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pacts ei­ther re­quir­ing mit­i­ga­tion or dis­qual­i­fy­ing the project al­to­gether.

The re­duc­tions did not make a dif­fer­ence for at least 18 speak­ers, with many say­ing the cen­ter is a good idea, but in the wrong lo­ca­tion.

Ed­i­tor’s note: This story was mod­i­fied 10-12-16 @ 12:47 PM to add the com­ments of at­tor­ney Ronald Pordy.


The pro­posed site of the Ir­ish Cul­tural Cen­ter, Abeel Street, Kingston, N.Y.

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