The development of Mid-Broadway lot is pivotal to the revitalization of Newburgh. This lot was not always empty. Many stable buildings were demolished in hopes of having SUNY Orange develop the site. When that hope failed Broadway was left with a gaping hole that does little to welcome visitors to the city. Last year various plans were presented to develop the lot using a supermarket on the first floor and office and residential space above. A large parking lot had been proposed that would involve razing the last remaining building that seems to still be in decent shape.
Two citizens, Stuart Sachs and Drew Kartiganer, have filed a lawsuit against the City. A recent Mid Hudson Times article covered the story. Among the controversial issues that surround the lot, citizens are most upset that this project was not approved by the planning board. It was approved by the City Council, none of which have planning or zoning experience, which makes this case very unusual. David Church, commissioner of planning for Orange County was quoted in the article from a letter he sent the city council in May as saying, “currently and historically all special use permits are awarded by the Planning Board in the City of Newburgh.” Other reasons Sachs and Kartiganer do not approve of the lot is because of 91 poverty housing units, approximately 100 parking spaces, and the developer will only pay less than 20% of the taxes they should pay for the next 50 years.
Stuart Sachs was quoted as saying the following:
“In this particular case, the City’s decision was so egregiously poor and so obviously opposite of best practices and good planning, and specifically opposite to the City’s Master Plan and Future Land Use Plan that we felt there was no overriding public interest in reversing the direction if such a thing were possible.
“The Mid Broadway site is one of the most important and prominent development sites that will guide the future of look, stature and stability of Newburgh, and it should not be wasted on a poorly planned non-conforming project whose only benefit seems to be the hefty profits of would-be developers who invest none of their own money, and considered none of the needs of the community, and saddle the City’s taxpayers with a hefty tax bill to subsidize forever as they ease off with millions in tow.”
Last February we posted a story regarding developers persistence for the supermarket. Many strong opinions were voiced in opposition to the supermarket while others thought it might be a good idea but questioned the type of supermarket that might be developed. One thing that is for certain is that Broadway is the gateway of Newburgh. Whatever is done with the lot will set a precedent for the rest of the development of the area.
For those of you interested in attended meetings that will discuss the Mid-Broadway Lot there will be a zoning board of appeals meeting on March 25 @7:30pm at 401 Washington Street.