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Sleepy Hollow Board Considers Open Door Proposals

The Open Door Medical Center wants to move out of its Beekman Avenue in Sleepy Hollow offices and into 300 North Broadway.
The Open Door Medical Center wants to move out of its Beekman Avenue in Sleepy Hollow offices and into 300 North Broadway. Photo Credit: Meredith Shamburger

SLEEPY HOLLOW, N.Y. – Plans to relocate the Open Door Medical Center in Sleepy Hollow could hit a snag if village trustees are not board with several proposed mitigation efforts.

Clinic officials have proposed several parking and pedestrian options for the new site after village residents and officials raised concerns about the original plan.

“We're trying to see if there's some common ground” to work with, Open Door attorney Tortorellaine Tortorella said during Tuesday's Board of Trustees meeting.

The Open Door Medical Center wants to move out of its 5,000-square-foot offices on Beekman Avenue into an existing building at 300 North Broadway in the Webber Park neighborhood. The clinic is before both the Sleepy Hollow Planning Board and Sleepy Hollow Zoning Board of Appeals.

Residents have questioned pedestrian safety because the proposed site sits near the five-point intersection on Route 9. Open Door has proposed paying for the village to hire a crossing guard, but Sleepy Hollow Mayor Ken Wray said that was personally a “non-starter.”

Wray said he was concerned by a number of things, including have the village liable for the crossing guard. Trustee Evelyn Stupel also cited concerns with the intersection, calling it a dangerous place for pedestrians.

Open Door's proposal also includes requiring all staff members to park at Phelps Memorial Hospital and take a shuttle to the new clinic. Officials said the limited on-site parking will not be a problem because 70 percent of their patients walk to their clinic.

During Tuesday's meeting, Open Door officials outlined a proposal to have the shuttle drop off staff at the Beekman Avenue municipal lot instead of the parking lot in front of the building, which some have criticized as too small.

Officials also proposed renting space in the Elm Street municipal lot as a way to get the code-required 40 parking spots. Trustees questioned how Open Door would ensure that patients or staff were parking in the spots. Tortorella said the clinic would be willing to work with the village on the issue.

“We've got every incentive to make sure we adhere to any conditions”, Tortorella said.

Although village officials said they were very supportive of the work Open Door does in the community, they did not reach a conclusion on the proposals Tuesday and said discussions would continue.

“You're asking us to take a leap of faith,” Trustee Jennifer Lobato-Church said, noting that any decision the board made would set precedent for other businesses before planning and zoning boards. Lobato-Church said Open Door would need to really demonstrate that controls were in place to prevent adverse effects.

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