Booted Economic Development Committee member raises protest at Lloyd reorganizational meeting

Mountainside Woods, a 162-unit, single-family residential complex slated for 29.57 acres near the base of Illinois Mountain in Highland, could receive preliminary site-plan approval at the Jan. 24 Lloyd Planning Board meeting.

At last week’s meeting, the town’s engineering consultants from Morris Associates weighed in and said that it was unlikely that they’d have their review of the changes that were made, plus their response to the public comments, until the week of Jan. 28. That said, they did report that at “first blush,” there were some issues that needed more thorough attention, including the “big, chunky” issue of stormwater runoff and drainage plans that were of great concern to the public during the public hearings.

There was also concern about maximum impervious surface, which the developer, David Weinberg, had his engineer address, but had not been fully vetted by the town’s engineers. The size of the holding ponds needs to match the maximum impervious surface that these 162 lots, plus roads and sidewalks, could create.

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Weinberg said that, in his experience as a developer, “Most municipalities would give me a preliminary site-plan approval with whatever conditions you may have, so I can move forward and go to the Health Department, the DEC [Department of Environmental Conservation], et cetera…The bottom line is, I have to come back to you for final approval, so any remaining issues could be worked out by then, without holding the project up.”

The engineers and the Planning Board’s attorney concurred that this was a feasible alternative, and said that they would try to come up with a conditional list for the Planning Board to consider at their next meeting to decide whether or not to give preliminary approval.

Another outstanding question is who will hold the conservation easement of the approximately 123 acres of land along Illinois Mountain that the developer would like to deed over to the town, and could possibly connect to existing Scenic Hudson land and trails, as well as the Hudson Valley Rail Trail. These are conditions that will still have to be spelled out and detailed before Weinberg gets final site-plan approval, which will be provided in stages.

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