Sleepy Hollow trustees approve new storage facility despite some residents' concerns

Two weeks after turning down a proposed storage facility, Sleepy Hollow trustees reconsidered the controversial plan and approved it.

Trustees voted 4-2, with Village President Stephen Pickett casting the fourth vote needed, for approval of concept plans for a storage facility on the south side of Route 72 east of Tartans Drive.

At the April 3 meeting, the village's attorney said Pickett could not vote on the matter. However, a subsequent review of procedural rules indicated that Pickett could, in fact, vote when a measure requires four votes to pass, Pickett said.

More than 50 residents packed village hall Monday to reiterate their opposition to the project.

"You don't care about the people who are living here," Eydie Reese told board members after the vote. "I'm embarrassed that we're going to have something like this in our community."

Final plans have not yet been submitted for the project, but the Florida-based developer Monday said the facility could include as many as 300 storage units.

Residents pointed out there are several storage facilities in the surrounding area and argued another one is not needed. Some also expressed concern about hours of operation and the potential for increased crime in the area.

"If this was such a great idea for the community, where were the people who supported it?" Anne DeLurgio asked Tuesday.

Though the board will not vote on final plans for the storage facility, Pickett said the village's building department must sign off on them before construction can begin.

Monday's approval included several restrictions the developer must follow regarding building materials, color scheme and hours of operation. Under the restrictions, the facility would be open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., but people could not enter it after 9 p.m.

Trustees did not vote on a request from the developer that would allow him to build a two-story facility. Pickett said the developer could return to the village board to ask for approval or opt for a one-story building.

Trustees Anthony Piraino and Joseph Nemec voted against the proposal. Both trustees, whose terms expire May 1, did not seek reelection in April.

Piraino said he voted against the proposal to represent the neighboring residents and to protect the village's rural feel. On Tuesday, however, he said he was encouraged by the board's discussion and the restrictions placed on the property.

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