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Letter: Dutchess Chamber Opposes Red Hook’s Proposed Zoning Law

The Northwest Dutchess Daily Voice accepts signed and original letters to the editor up to 350 words. To submit a letter, e-mail northwestdutchess@dailyvoice.com.
The Northwest Dutchess Daily Voice accepts signed and original letters to the editor up to 350 words. To submit a letter, e-mail northwestdutchess@dailyvoice.com. Photo Credit: Flickr user pocius

DUTCHESS COUNTY, N.Y. -- The Northwest Dutchess Daily Voice accepts signed and original letters to the editor up to 350 words. To submit your letter, e-mail northwestdutchess@dailyvoice.com .

To the editor:

The way the town’s proposed zoning law amendment is written, there is potential for local businesses to be excluded simply because they have too many locations or meet other restrictive criteria.

How can these businesses be treated differently without it being discriminatory?

For instance, a restaurant serving “food sold over the counter in disposable containers and wrappers,” such as Dunkin' Donuts, would be prohibited because it is required to do so by “contractual, franchise or other legal arrangement,” but someone else opening another location of their privately-owned doughnut shop would be permitted.

Furthermore, what is the difference to the use of the property because of how many locations there are? What happens when the number of locations increases? Are they now undesirable?

These prohibitions are unnecessary and will prevent locally-owned chains from developing and growing. Special-use permits and site-plan regulations minimize eyesores or other detractors from the beauty of the area.

In 2016, the village created a local law that expanded the design review requirements for all construction and demolition with the Village’s Historical Landmark Overlay District. This law prevents installation of major logos that would diminish the visual appeal of the area.

Fairly crafted special permits, site-plan regulations and architectural reviews are all legitimate means to regulate incoming businesses. The proposed zoning law would go against the legitimate objectives of zoning under New York State Law and would also face Federal Constitutional issues.

The Town of Red Hook has abundant charm and is iconic of the Hudson Valley. Preserving this aesthetic is important, however, how this amendment is currently written, the Town is hindering its growth and job creation potential.

Stephen E. Diamond,

Chamber Board Counsel, of Stenger, Roberts, Davis & Diamond, LLP.

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