Irish Cultural Center decision delay likely
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.