BEDFORD, N.Y. – Splash Car Wash faced complaints from the residents of Valerio Court at the Bedford Planning Board’s meeting Monday night. The car wash is in the final stages of approval from the board to move from its current location at 527 Bedford Road to the former Carvel site across the street.
Since the process began in July, the board has been reviewing traffic and noise reports from both the applicants, Splash co-owners Mark Curtis and Chris Fisher, and the residents of Valerio Court – the area from which cars would enter.
The board hired its own consultants to do noise and traffic studies for the proposed site at 570 Bedford Road. The traffic consultant’s report was accepted at the board’s Jan. 24 meeting and its noise consultant's noise report was accepted Monday, thus completing the board’s environmental review of the project.
Valerio Court residents were at the meeting to revisit the issue of traffic. The applicants suggested there could be a sign to prevent queuing onto Valerio Court, but the residents’ lawyer, David J. Squirrel, said this would not be sufficient.
"On traffic, my clients implore this board as residents of Bedford to acknowledge the reality of traffic present on that strip during a busy afternoon,” said Squirrel.
Squirrel also cited another issue: the zoning board may rezone a half-acre parcel of land for commercial use.
"My clients feel very strongly and I agree with them that this is the first domino," said Squirrel, saying the decision could be used to justify more commercial development in the rezoned area.
Board member Deirdre Courtney-Batson said the topography of the area is unique enough that this is unlikely.
“I acknowledge the fact that the three or four of you that live on Valerio Court will experience something different than what you’re experiencing today,” said board member John P. Sullivan.
Sullivan said that if an office building were to be built on that site, the board would still only accept entrances from Valerio Court, rather than Route 117, arguing that this is a move toward stabilization of the area.
Resident Dino DeFeo disagreed, saying the traffic that comes through an office building is of a different, more regular pattern than that of a carwash.
The environmental review, including the noise and traffic reports, is now in the hands of the zoning board of appeals, which needs to approve several variances and a special permit. If approved, the project will be kicked back to the planning board for final approval.