SLEEPY HOLLOW, N.Y. – Sleepy Hollow residents said the proposed site for a bigger Open Door Medical Center is too dangerous for pedestrians and too compact for adequate parking.
“The question here is safety,” resident Rosemarie McManus said, later adding that the site's location was “just too busy. It's just too dangerous.”
The Open Door Medical Center wants to move its clinic from 80 Beekman Avenue to 300 North Broadway, a site on Route 9 and adjacent to the Webber Park neighborhood.
A few dozen residents protested the proposal during Wednesday's Zoning Board of Appeals meeting. The zoning board must approve the project before it goes before the Sleepy Hollow Planning Board for final site approval. Officials are asking for several variances, especially when it comes to parking.
The proposed site would offer 10 parking spaces, including one handicapped space, and a loading zone. Zoning Board officials and residents both questioned how larger cars, vans and ambulances would navigate around the lot.
Open Door's proposal 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.
Phelps Memorial Hospital CEO Keith Safian praised Open Door's mission and its proposal.
“It would be a tragedy if parking brought this down,” he said.
Residents also questioned pedestrian safety because the proposed site sits near the five-points intersection on Route 9. Open Door officals said they will direct patients to walk a certain route and they are willing to hire a crossing guard.
Several residents, including John Windas, suggested Open Door move its clinic to Phelps Memorial Hospital and provide a shuttle service from the inner-village. Windas said that suggestion would be safer for pedestrians and have less effect on the Webber Park neighborhood in terms of traffic and parking.
“It would solve everything,” he said.