The Rhinebeck Resident “Platt Ave Parking Issues Bring Other Issues to Light”
The Rhinebeck Resident
Haven Spa has long been a favorite day spas in the Hudson Valley but neighbors of the spa have been left feeling anything but pampered.
Haven Spa opened in 1999 with five employees allowing Hudson Valley residents and visitors to pamper themselves nearby rather than travelling. The spas reputation and expanding service menu has grown the business to approximately 21 employees. While growth and popularity is a welcomed sign to the spa, neighbors on Platt Avenue in the Village of Rhinebeck are unhappy with the repercussions to their street.
During July’s Village Board Meeting Terry Gipson advised the board that Haven Spa has been notified in writing that they have exceeded their site plan by going from 5 to 21 employees. Haven’s site plan was approved in 1999 when the zoning law was in the process of being written. However, Gipson noted that with the growth of Haven, the Village has had an increased number of complaints about the spas customer and employee parking habits. Cars can often be seen lining Platt Avenue from Route 9 to the middle of the block in front of homeowner’s idyllic Village homes. Mayor Reardon commented that many people do not use common sense when they park: blocking sidewalks, parking too close to a homeowner’s driveways, for example. To further the issue, customers of the spa have, at times, become belligerent when confronted by Platt Avenue homeowners Deputy Mayor Rifenburgh added.
Lisa Bare, owner of Haven Spa, did not reply to requests for an interview. However, the Village Board noted that Ms. Bare is intent on working with the Village to rectify the problem. Solutions suggested during the meeting included Haven’s paying an “in lieu of parking“ fee to the Village, the spa returning to 5 employees (which is not likely) or, as Mayor Reardon pointed out, perhaps employees can be required to use Rhinebeck’s Municipal parking lot on E. Market Street and walk to the spa, leaving the parking lot behind the building for customers. Gipson suggested that the Village seek counsel advice on how to proceed with this delicate issue as Haven is a valued business in Rhinebeck and requiring a decrease to the 5 employees approved in the 1999 site plan would damage the business. However, Gipson and the rest of the Village Board noted that it is an indisputable fact that homeowners have a right to safe access to their street and their property.
The Rhinebeck Community Forum will report updates on this matter as they become available.