BEDFORD HILLS, N.Y. - After going back and forth with the Bedford Planning Board and Bedford’s Zoning Board of Appeals since its lease ended in 2010, Splash Car Wash's move across North Bedford Road to the former Carvel location got final site plan approval Tuesday.
The Bedford Hills business is moving from its home on 527 N. Bedford Road across the street to the property at 570 N. Bedford Road. In May, another car wash, Russell Speeder’s, will open in the space vacated by Splash.
The Bedford Planning Board granted its final approval Tuesday with a list of conditions that included landscaping changes, installing an acoustic fence that blocks noise, adding signage to discourage loading in certain zones and installing a retaining wall to prevent erosion on a sloping area of the property.
"I still have a certain amount of discomfort with that slope," said Planning Board Chair Deirdre Courtney-Batson in Tuesday’s discussions, leading the board to require architect Peter Helmes and Splash's attorney Charles Martabano to return to the board with the retaining wall’s precise measurements before Splash begins construction.
Since the Splash proposal was presented, residents of bordering street Valerio Court have been organized and vocal in expressing concern about potential noise, traffic and safety issues.
While planning board members said Tuesday they believe they have struck a good balance between the needs of the Valerio Court residents and the business owners, residents like Dino DeFeo said they disagree, writing in an e-mail Thursday that “this development will endanger our children, compromise our property values and reduce our quality of life.”
In January, DeFeo filed a lawsuit with the Supreme Court of the State of New York for the County of Westchester, naming several defendants: Bedford's Zoning Board of Appeals, the Bedford Planning Board, Splash Management Group, Onab. Corp., and 570 North Bedford Road, LLC.
The case was set to be heard in court on Thursday, according to the residents’ lawyer, David Squirrel, but has been adjourned until a later date.
“This whole process has been very disappointing,” said DeFeo “The zoning and planning boards have a responsibility to protect the community from over-development. The town’s ruling is in direct conflict with their own Comprehensive Plan.”
The planning board also ruled Tuesday that one year after Splash receives its certificate of occupancy, the board will re-evaluate noise and traffic effects on the neighborhood.
Board member John Sullivan congratulated Splash co-owners Mark Curtis and Chris Fisher on the end of their ordeal.
"The sheer fact that they went through this measure to remain the business they are deserves credit," he said.