Coxsackie village pauses hotel project | Greene County

COXSACKIE — The village of Coxsackie has issued a stop-work order for a hotel and event center that would transform the river community’s historic waterfront district.

The village has brought a halt to construction on the project after discovering that some aspects of the development are not being built in accordance with the site plan.

The project from developer Aaron Flach of the Flach Development and Realty company includes the four-story James Newbury Hotel and the Wire Events Center, a 600-capacity auditorium that would host weddings and additional gatherings.

In a statement from the Coxsackie Village Board released Sunday, the village announced the project would be stopped as the village awaits further documentation from the developer.

“The village board is aware issues have arisen with the downtown hotel/event center project and some aspects of what has been built that are not in compliance with the village code and/or the planning board approved site plan,” according to the statement. “The building permit issued last year for this project has recently expired; by law, a new building permit cannot be issued when a nonconforming situation exists such as the height of the hotel building. In consultation with our village attorney (Robert Stout) and compliance with the law the Code Enforcement Officer (Michael Ragaini) has issued a stop-work order. The order means no work can be done until a new building permit is applied for and issued.”

Coxsackie Village Mayor Mark Evans declined to elaborate further on the decision-making process regarding the issuance of the stop-work order.

Evans said a public meeting would be held about the project when the developer provides the village with updated plans for the development.

“I don’t know the time frame yet,” he said. “It’ll be whenever some new plans are submitted.”

Village residents have raised concerns about the height of the 40-room hotel. The village code stipulates that waterfront recreational, residential and development districts cannot exceed 35 feet in height.

In March 2019, the planning board approved the four-story hotel with a maximum height of 45 feet.

“The project will need an updated site plan to be submitted to the planning board for them to review against what the planning board previously approved,” according to the village’s statement. “This will allow for a complete finding of issues so they can all be addressed together at the same time. Once the planning board has a complete list of issues that will need to be addressed, we will hold a public forum with the village board, planning board, code enforcement officer, engineers and our attorney. We will provide a review of any errors that were made, review and understand the issues that need to be addressed and our attorney can review the proper legal path forward. The village board will ensure an open, public, and transparent process. Updates will be posted as appropriate.”

At a Coxsackie Village Planning Board meeting March 17, Flach addressed concerns about the project, including answering questions about the amount of parking planned for the development, which would also consist of residential apartments and commercial space, in addition to the hotel and events center.

In December, the project received a $150,000 state grant as part of a program to revamp the historic district.

In the wake of the stop-work order, Flach said his real estate company hoped to move forward with the South River Street waterfront development project.

“While we believe the village building department was provided everything required of the project, we will be working with the village board and others to ensure full compliance,” Flach said in a statement Monday.

“We have completed many successful restoration and building projects in the area and will continue to make the community proud,” Flach said. “We look forward to bringing this redevelopment of formerly empty buildings to completion with its associated 50-plus construction jobs, 38-plus full-time jobs and its expanded opportunities for families to enjoy dining, events and overnight accommodations at our stunning waterfront location. ”

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