Thomaston Board OKs landmark designation for religious site

Thomaston Board OKs landmark designation for religious site

By John Nugent

The Thomaston Board of Trustees voted to approve the recommendation of the Village Landmarks Preservation Commission that the building at 46 Middleneck Road be designated a landmark in accordance with the Village Code.

Mayor Steven Weinberg opened the discussion by saying the purpose of the public hearing was to modify or accept the Landmarks and Preservation Commission’s recommendation  after listening to public comments. He pointed out that the commission took into account  architectural and aesthetic significance and community support for landmarking.

The commission issued a report on July 24 after conducting a thorough analysis of many factors that had to be considered for a property to achieve landmark status.

Since the building, constructed in approximately 1926, is currently occupied by a religious group, Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual Organization, the commission had to determine if landmarking might impose any undue burdens on the free exercise of religion.

In addition, the report considered how the new designation would impact zoning and tax revenue. Also, the New York State Office of Historic Preservation approved its eligibility for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places.

Weinberg praised the thoroughness of the report and recommended that the board “affirm it in totality.” He added that it will provide a framework for examining any future applications that may come before the board.

Leila Mattson, a member of the Landmarks Commission, said during public comments that she saw “no reason why the report should not be approved.”

Resident Miriam Chatinover commented how impressed she was with the report, thanking the commission for clearly spelling out all the details of the issue.

Trustees Aaron Halpern and Burton Weston agreed that landmark designation of the building will not create any hardship on the owner of the property.

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