Update from Save Rhinebeck Green Space
We are writing to give you an update on the planning process for the Northern Dutchess Hospital expansion and let you know about two upcoming meetings about the hospital. Please plan on attending.
First off the hospital is planning to demolish 78 trees in the construction process so the ads they placed in our local paper, The Observer, were false and misleading. This is sad news and raises the issue of how truthful their communications with the public have been.
This Tuesday, December 17th at 7:00 pm is a meeting of the Planning Board (at the Village Hall) to review changes they requested to the hospital. The most important change is that the Planning Board, at their December 3 meeting stated that the hospital campus has been “maxed out” and asked Health Quest and Kirchhoff to attach a note to their final site plan documenting that they, too, understand that the remaining green space needs to be retained and that any future parking needs must be met off site.
We believe that the note attached to the final site plan verifying that the Planning Board wants no future development on the green space is extremely important. We commend the Planning Board for their position and hope Northern Dutchess Hospital recognizes how they have grown to a scale that no longer fits within a residential neighborhood. The Planning Board meeting this Tuesday is not a public hearing and NDH is last on the agenda but we are encourage everyone to attend if they can.
This Thursday, December 19th, is a public hearing of the Zoning Board of Appeals at 7:00 pm at the Village Hall. This is likely the last chance for the public to weigh in on the hospital project. The laws which govern granting a variance are very precise. One of the requirements of granting a variance is that the result could not be achieved by other means.
Clearly the medical offices proposed for the hospital could be located in the “medical office district” along Springbook Avenue. The “medical office district” was created in 2006 in the Rhinebeck Village Zoning Code” to provide space for medical offices for Northern Dutchess Hospital. Therefore there is no need to grant a height variance to allow medical offices in the hospital expansion. Please attend the meeting if possible. We encourage thoughtful public comments on the hospital project. It’s your chance to speak out on the project. Please attend!
Save Rhinebeck Green Space thanks everyone who has signed our petition (over 500 signatures) , written letters to the Planning and Zoning Boards and attended meetings. Your time and concern has helped limit the devastating impact of the loss of trees and lawn.
The community character of the village will be forever changed. It will be a very sad day for Rhinebeck when 78 trees are demolished but some green space has been saved. We look forward to seeing everyone at the Tuesday and especially the Thursday meetings.
Best holidays wishes to you and your family!