Massage business rubs neighbors the wrong way

Brown said she studied the traffic patterns of a four-person family " two teenage kids and two parents " and said the traffic is comparable to their busiest day of massaging.

Peter Barber, chairman of zoning board, said he was concerned with the width of the driveway. It only fits one car at a time. He asked if it would be a problem for clients blocking each other in.

Brown said they schedule the appointments with a half hour in between so there is no chance of an overlap of clients.

"We do four-handed massages, and couples massages where there would be only one car at a time," Brown added. "We show up for our clients. There's never any waiting in our business."

Clara Lassale, another Birchwood Drive resident, said she is skeptical of Brown's claims.

"You wouldn't be generating anywhere near the amount of traffic speculated by the applicant," Lassale said.

She said there would be more traffic because most of the families on Birchwood are elderly and do not have children living there anymore.

Some residents were concerned with the economic implications of allowing the business.

Longtime resident Don Nolte said he was worried the value of his property would go down if a commercial business were permitted into the area.

One longtime client vouched for the massage team.

Nathan Kendzierski, who attends sessions with his girlfriend, said they provide a valuable service.

"I work on concrete all day long. On a whim I went to Stuyvesant Plaza, and for the first time I felt amazing," he said.

One client of Brown and Vigneri's sympathized with the Birchwood neighbors, but said in the long run, the move will be for the better. She said the scenic view in her backyard was compromised by a residential business.

"Sometimes progress is scary. It's progress. I dealt with it. It's not so horrible," said the client who asked not to be named. "This is a legitimate business, which is clean and upstanding. They go out there to help out the community."

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