Marlborough Planning Board approves classic car storage facility
If all goes as planned, residents of Route 44/55 and the surrounding areas might soon be treated to the sight of Ford Model Ts, ’57 Chevys, Mustang Shelby GTs and the like cruising up and down their winding roads.
Following a public hearing on July 2, the Marlborough Planning Board approved the construction of a large garage for classic car storage pending a final approval by the Ulster County Department of Health.
The project, known as the Classic Carriage House, will be a 50-by-100-foot 12-bay garage located on Route 44/55. In addition to storage, this project features a display room, automotive service and repair and a detailing area. The property, owned by Michael Rhodes, is located across from the Mobil Station on Route 44/55 near the intersection of the towns of Lloyd, Marlborough and Plattekill.
According to minutes of a May meeting of the Planning Board, comments from the board regarding the project included “very nice,” “very pretty” and “cool.” These comments are in stark contrast to how a lead surveyor on the project described the property as it stands now.
“They’re cleaning up an eyesore,” said Patti Brooks, of Brooks and Brooks Land Surveyors.
This project has been developing over the past three years and has long been waiting approval by the State’s Department of Environmental Conservation, according to Brooks.
“This [delay] is not common,” said Brooks. “There have been environmental constraints because of regulated wetlands.”
According to Brooks, the hope of the project will be to lure classic car owners from out-of-town to store and maintain their cars at the location. A benefit to the town, said Brooks, will be that the car’s owners will hopefully spend their money in the surrounding areas.
“Tourism is good,” said board member Mike Logue at the May meeting.
John and Jo-Shereen Platel, neighbors of the property, showed up to the public hearing in order to get clarification on the nature of the project.
“They want it to look like a carriage house,” said Brooks. “So people can come up here and drive their cars around the beautiful countryside.”
John Platel stressed that speeding traffic in the area is already a problem. In response, Brooks stressed to the couple that the project will not result in increased traffic in the area or visitors parking in the street.
Following the meeting, both Platels expressed their approval for the project.
“This is the type of project that we want to see there,” said Jo-Shereen Platel.
“The traffic isn’t going to increase at 3 a.m. because someone needs a pack of cigarettes,” added her husband, in reference to an alternative business, like a gas station, being built on the property.
“It’s a nice looking building,” said Jo-Shereen. “It’ll bring the area up a little bit.”
According to Brooks, the project will start building later this year or in early spring. Though the project has received a preliminary approval from the health department, a final approval is still pending.
By ROB IRWIN