Here we go down the road with the inference that every local official is "on the take". I have a relative that was on the planning board in Riverdale for 25 years. Most times they were on the ball for re-zoning. This made the town more attractive for (re)development, thereby keeping the property tax burden on the residential owners one of the lowest in the state. As you probably are aware a portion of the Walmart site had been highway retail prior to Route 287 being constructed. So the re-zoning for Walmart was not a stretch. And other than the xmas rush, the traffic to and from the site has not been that bad and I commute on that road every day.
Now back to the transfer facility. The site is not a simple transfer of materials from train to truck. As has been the case with this brick company's Roxbury facility, the brick is stored for months and months at the site. So it is not just transfered, it is stored on site. Isn't that more of an outdoor warehouse use rather than a transfer facility? If allowed, why wouldn't the railroad seek other types of businesses that have materials to store outdoor along the right of way in Riverdale or elsewhere?
To me this has more to do with the interpretation of the exemption the railroad operates under. The transfer facility can circumvent the local zoning rules IF it is run by the railroad. However as is true with the garbage transfer facilities, none are actually run by the railroad themselves with railroad employees. Its all subbed out to the contractor or company that needs the operation. So in this case, instead of the brick company finding a suitable site along a rail line and building a proper brick transfer facility that complies with the local zoning codes, the railroad is offering one up under their exemption.
My thought all along has been the brick company should talk with Morris Pipe further down the branch. Morris Pipe has been shrinking its operation year to year for a long time. They have / had rail service and a large outdoor warehouse site that is bearly used. It is also directly on a major highway. A much better site, zoned correctly, and not more than a half mile away.
trainwayne1 wrote:The borough of Riverdale had no trouble rearranging zoning issues to accomadate the huge Walmart complex a few years ago....which has more traffic in an 8 hour day than a transfer facility would in a month......all in the name of ratables. The town and Walmart played the usual political games. It's not the first time it's happened in Riverdale, going back many years. I suspect that the railroad refuses to play the "game" that the local leaders want to play. There are always "costs" involved with deals like this, and the railroad's traditional way of doing things doesn't mesh well with what the town officials want in the way of compromises. I'm pretty sure that if the NYS&W were to "donate" some property somewhere else that the town could use for something there could be a meeting of the minds, regardless of the local opposition.