Kingston Planning Board's review of proposed Irish Cultural Center off January agenda


Kingston Planning Board's review of proposed Irish Cultural Center off January agenda

KINGSTON, N.Y. >> The proposed Irish Cultural Center in the Rondout district has been removed from the city Planning Board’s January agenda.

The proposal was to be reviewed at the board’s Jan. 9 meeting, but the city Planning Office says that won’t be the case.

The Planning Office said representatives of the developers want to wait until the Planning Board has written comments in hand about the project from the Ulster County Planning Board.

The matter also was tabled at the city Planning Board’s Dec. 12 meeting because the applicants had received comments they said they “want to digest,” board Chairman Wayne Plate said at the time. Those comments came from the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the Ulster County Planning Board.

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Beth Cumming, senior historic site restoration coordinator for the state parks office, said in a Dec. 2 letter to Kingston Planner Suzanne Cahill that the state office had reviewed the revised plans for the Irish Cultural Center, proposed for a site on Abeel Street, and found the north elevation design to be “greatly improved.” Cumming added, though, that concerns about the scale of the proposal, design features, siting, materials and Company Hill Path, which abuts the site, still needed to be addressed.

The county Planning Board discussed the Irish center proposal at a Dec. 7 meeting, focusing on such topics as access to the site, both by vehicles and pedestrians; the impact on neighboring properties; lighting on the building; parking; and community character.

The Kingston Planning Board still must decide whether to require a detailed environmental review of the proposed center. The board is charged with deciding, under the State Environmental Quality Review Act, whether the project will have a significant impact on the environment.

If a positive declaration of environmental significance is made by the board, the developer will be required to outline steps to mitigate the identified impacts.

Opponents of the project have asked the Planning Board repeatedly to issue a positive declaration of environmental significance.

The 0.44-acre parcel at 32 Abeel St. where the center is proposed to be built is bordered on two sides by private properties and to the rear by the city-owned Company Hill Path and a retaining wall.

If the site plan is approved by the Planning Board, the proposed center would be three stories high and contain 16,213 square feet. The building would include a theater on the ground floor, accessed from West Strand and Company Hill Path. The first floor would contain performance space, a tea room, a kitchen and some gallery space, and the second floor would include a large classroom area, offices, a recording studio and storage space. A rooftop garden also is planned.

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“Kingston Planning Board continues review of Irish Cultural Center project,” Nov. 14, 2016

“Neighbors of proposed Irish Cultural Center in Kingston urge detailed environmental review,” Nov. 2, 2016

“Kingston zoning board puts off Irish center decision,” Oct. 19, 2016

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Source: Daily Freeman
Kingston Planning Board's review of proposed Irish Cultural Center off January agenda

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