July 21, 2015
Mayor J. Michael Cindrich and
Members of the Board of Trustees
Village/Town of Mount Kisco
104 Main Street
Mount Kisco, NY 10549
Re: Mount Kisco Planning Board and Building Department
This letter is from a group of concerned local business and commercial property owners who collectively comprise the ‘Alliance for Mount Kisco’.
This diverse group of local business and property owners has come together to discuss possible steps that can be taken to improve the relationship between the business community and the Village of Mount Kisco, with a particular focus on the Planning Board and Building Department.
As a group we have chosen to make Mount Kisco the home of our businesses, and some of us have lived in Mount Kisco our entire lives. Many of our businesses have been awarded commendations for their contributions to the community by Mount Kisco, neighboring towns, Westchester County, and the State of New York, as well as by numerous charities and environmental organizations throughout the area.
Together we operate numerous local businesses employing hundreds of people, and we own a substantial portion of the commercial square footage within the municipality. We are emotionally and financially invested in this community, and we want to see it succeed. We are all proud of the role that we play in contributing positively to the Village of Mount Kisco.
In the opinion of this Alliance, the Mount Kisco Planning Board and Building Department have become major impediments to successfully operating a local business, and a threat to the future success and prosperity of the downtown commercial center.
We are all interested in ensuring that the municipal land use process is thoughtful, with a thorough review of the possible environmental impact of new uses coming to town. But it is a problem when the process itself becomes so tangled and unpredictable that a business is either discouraged from coming here or gives up altogether after many frustrated months of little progress in a municipal review process. The environmental review process should be thoughtful, but it should also be fair and expeditious. Many residents of Mount Kisco may not realize that it can take in excess of one year of Planning Board review for a new restaurant or other business to move into town. This administrative review can cost tens of thousands of dollars, with even small restaurant owners often forced to hire a team of professional consultants and attorneys to navigate through an often unpredictable process that is subject to multiple delays along the way. From start, until the time when a business owner has a building permit to commence construction, can easily take 12 – 18 months, or longer. In today’s fast paced world when goods ordered on Amazon today arrive at one’s doorstop tomorrow, even a 6 month process is unreasonable.