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Letter: New Splash Car Wash Bad For Neighbors

BEDFORD, N.Y. – The Bedford Daily Voice accepts signed, original letters to the editor. Letters may be emailed to lbutton@dailyvoice.com .

Sept. 30, 2012To the Editor:

This letter is an appeal to reason, and we're hoping that the Bedford Zoning Board of Appeals reads it before its next hearing. By way of background, the Splash Car Wash chain asked for permission to build a new facility one block away from our homes, and at a zoning board meeting earlier this month was granted verbal approval (dependent on certain conditions) to proceed. The final decision is to be made at the board's next meeting and, if final approval is given, we the residents of Valerio Court in Bedford Hills will be fearful for the safety, sanity and lives of our families.

Why are we terrified? Specifically, the proposed Splash facility would be a high-capacity operation (including car wash, oil change and detailing) that borders our private property, across both commercial and residentially zoned property. Although the site is located on Route 117 , the Bedford Planning and zoning boards are dictating the only access to the facility would be via Valerio Court — a two-lane road (one lane each way) that's the only road leading to our residential cul de sac. This edict is to save Route 117 from the traffic and congestion this facility will no doubt create.

This presents a highly dangerous situation to all of us, for a number of reasons:

1. There is a documented history of accidents and deaths at other Splash locations in Westchester and nearby Connecticut.

2. There is a school bus stop on the corner, and our children would have to walk past the Splash driveway entrances to get to the bus stop.

3. The facility will have the capacity to process 260 cars per hour. Directing all access to and from this facility through Valerio Court may save Route 117, but what will happen to our small residential street? Making matters worse, the entrance will be within a residentially zoned property 30 feet from a private driveway.

4. Customers who decide not to wait on a long line to get into the car wash would have only one option to get out of that line, which would be to drive into our residential cul de sac to turn around. Children regularly ride their bikes in this cul de sac.

5. With up to 260 cars per hour, the facility would generate considerable air pollution (potentially causing respiratory issues), as well as noise pollution.

6. During winter, water runoff from the cars would freeze, creating icy, hazardous conditions on a road where children have to walk.

And, adding insult to injury, the Martabano family, the owner of the property for the proposed Splash and the owners of Valerio Court, have been making aggressive moves against us, including threatening our access to Route 117 and putting stakes on our property, claiming those stakes represent borders of Valerio Court which they would be entitled to use.

Sadly, despite these alarming facts, the zoning board is seriously considering Splash's requests for variances and zoning changes that would allow this to happen. By doing so, they're putting our health, safety and very lives at risk as well as setting a dangerous precedent that could allow other communities to grant similar requests. And as for our property values, they're guaranteed to plummet.

Although we raised all of these issues at the previous zoning board meeting, the Board's verbal approval seems to indicate they fell on deaf years. That's why we're hoping this letter, read by our community, will bring clarity and sanity to this serious situation. If this is allowed to happen to us, it can readily happen to everyone.

Sincerely,Dino and Karen DeFeo along with the residents of Valerio Court