Hate the plan, not the planners

The Planning Board Chairman responds to Gaetana Ciarlante’s letter regarding SEQRA & a proposed 40 unit townhouse project in the Town o fSaugerties (hamlet of Glasco). 

On April 23rd, 2007 the Planning Board issued a “Neg Dec” (negative declaration) under SEQRA for a project that consisted of 40 townhouse units.  Later in December, 2010 the applicant requested the Planning Board consider the project with the lot lines removed and the townhouses becoming rental units.

Prior to the public hearing, which Ms. Ciarlante is referring to, the board reviewed the ‘findings and recommendations’ from the town planner (Shuster Associates) with the caveat that “unless new information is revealed at the public hearing it does not appear that there is much basis for reconsideration of the Negative Declaration approved in 2007”. 

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Ms. Ciarlante’s letter to the editor and a copy delivered to the Planning Board does not take into consideration the difference between ‘closing a public hearing’ and deliberating on the merits of the public discourse as well as considering all aspects of the projects impacts.  Part 2 & 3 of the SEQRA “long form” Project Impacts And Their Magnitude states that it is the duty of the planning board to consider, as lead agency, and to address before making a decision.

The public hearing portion of the proposal was duly closed as there was more than enough public comment regarding the potential increased drain on the school system and the tax structure apparently agreed to by the Town Board.

I hardly think Ms. Ciarlante needed to call an assemblyman who does not represent Saugerties, but is a member of the Committee On Housing, for an answer to the process when she could have found all the information within the project documents along with the completed application on file and available for public review at Town Hall.  Furthermore a quick ‘google’ search could have brought anyone to the SEQRA forms.

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