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Liberty residents protest proposed impound lot

By Fritz Mayer
April 25, 2012

After speaking out at a planning board meeting about the matter, Pat Lubin took her concerns to the town board at a meeting on April 16. She said she represented the Loomis Road Neighborhood Watch, and the group’s main goal was to create and maintain a safe neighborhood.

That objective, she said, was not compatible with the planned opening of an impound lot on a property off Route 52. Lubin said, “I spoke to a lot of law enforcement, whether it was state police, village police, or the sheriff’s department, and they all said, ‘yes, this is going to impact the community watch.’”

She also said that the group has been working with Sullivan Renaissance to beautify the area specifically to try to attract new businesses. Lubin said, “We’re not against business, we want to encourage it; however, this type of business is not a good fit for our area.”

The town board listened but did not react, and probably will take no formal action on the matter because the question of issuing a special use permit for the impound lot, to be operated by a company called Tommy’s Towing, which has a towing business in Walden, is a matter for the planning board.

Lubin and some of her neighbors attended the planning board meeting on April 3, where about a dozen of them expressed concerns during a public hearing on the project.

Brian Shortfall said the road in question, Frankie Lane, was not wide enough to accommodate the large trucks that would be needed for the operation.

Doug Stevens asked if there would be an environmental study, and expressed concern over leakage from the vehicles into the neighborhood wells. Tim Yaun echoed that sentiment, and said that car fluids affect water in all wells.

Nancy Cooper said her husband had had a stroke and therefore the noise level would be an issue.

Later in the meeting, a man named Milo Moore appeared for the project and explained that this would be for disabled vehicles, and there would be no wrecks or vehicles with severed lines. He said the hours of operation would be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

The board determined that the project should be reviewed by the town engineer to ensure that various requirements are met.

The town’s code says that the planning board has the authority “to approve, disapprove or approve with modification” special use permits, but the history of the board indicates that a permit will ultimately be approved, because the Liberty Planning Board rarely denies a special use permit to a developer, business, or organization, whether there is a conflict with neighbors or not.