Letters: Rhinebeck residents should attend important zoning board hearing

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I am writing this letter to encourage Village of Rhinebeck residents to attend an important meeting of the Village of Rhinebeck Zoning Board in the Rhinebeck Town Hall (due to an expected large public turnout) on Nov. 7at 7pm.

This meeting will include a public hearing regarding a “cease and desist” order issued by the Village Zoning Enforcement Officer on 8/14/2013 to the current occupants of a building at 47 West Market St. in Rhinebeck.

The property, in past years, provided mental health services to Dutchess County residents, and was managed directly by Dutchess County Mental Health. The mental health mission was approved many years ago by the Village of Rhinebeck. Sometime in the past 18 months, without notification from Dutchess County government or any other agency, the Dutchess County Mental Health mission and staff were withdrawn from this facility and replaced by a drug-and-alcohol treatment program operated by three third-party contractors (Occupations Inc., Hudson Valley Mental Health Inc., and Lexington Center for Recovery).

This new use of the property is not allowed by the occupancy permit issued by the Village of Rhinebeck. The new use has resulted in a significant change in the population serviced by the 47 West Market Street site, a concurrent substantial change in the character of the residential neighborhoods surrounding this facility, and a notable increase in police activity and traffic.

I encourage all Village and Town of Rhinebeck citizens to attend this important meeting and to express your concern regarding this issue to the Zoning Board.

Dod Crane

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