St. George neighbors ask court to have Board reconsider Bean's Wyeth center

By Stephen Betts | Jan 09, 2018
Source: Stephen G. Smith Architects The proposed Wyeth Reading Center in St. George.

St. George — A group of neighbors of Linda Bean's proposed Wyeth Reading Center have filed an appeal in court.

The five residents asked the court to send the matter back to the St. George Planning Board with instructions to consider more thoroughly the safety concerns of neighbors.

The Board of Appeals voted 5-0 Dec. 5 to uphold the Planning Board's Sept. 26 approval of the project, which has been the subject of numerous meetings since the application was filed June 1, 2017. Those meetings have attracted more than 50 people at times.

Appealing the approval are Horse Point Road Group, Robert and Patricia Hughes, Sandra Dickson Coggeshall, Jonathan Coggeshall and Anita Sigenthaler. They are represented by attorney Patrick Mellor of Rockland.

Bean's representatives have characterized the reading room as a summer destination for people interested in researching the Wyeth family of artists. The 1,400-square-foot building would make Wyeth-related magazines and books available to the public for free, and would feature wall panels with historical information..

The center would be located at 20 Horse Point Road, off Route 131. Five parking spaces are planned, and the developer said it would attract minimal traffic.

The Planning Board imposed a condition that the reading room may be open by appointment only, and must have a sign clearly stating that to discourage drop-in visitors.

The neighbors, however, claim that the road is already unsafe and the reading center would add traffic that would endanger the hundreds of pedestrians and children on bicycles.

The appeal also claims that due process rights of the residents were violated because a member of the Planning Board, Michael Jordan, has been a vocal proponent of the project.

Attorney Paul Gibbons, who represents Bean, dismissed at a Nov. 16 Appeals Board meeting the safety claims by neighbors as "utter nonsense" and "wild speculation." He argued that a reading room with five parking spaces open only by appointment would not create excessive traffic or a safety concern.

A telephone message was left Tuesday afternoon, Jan. 9, for Gibbons.

No hearing has yet been scheduled on the court appeal.

Comments (1)
Posted by: Dale Hayward | Jan 09, 2018 20:34

Is there or is it not a tax write off? Tax deduction for legal fees, construction and maintenance, taxes, and can we guess how many people might even use it? Is this information available in Rockland at, you might guess, The Wyeth Center?

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