Developers for the Hudson Valley Wine Village project in the Town of Lloyd can check off one more box on their “to do” list toward getting construction started on the proposed $273 million multi-use development. At the recent Lloyd Town Board meeting on July 16, council members unanimously passed a resolution to approve the Final Generic Environmental Impact Statement (FGEIS) for the property, clearing the way for the next phases of the project.
Consulting attorney Terresa Bakner, a specialist in land use issues at the law firm Whiteman, Osterman & Hanna, said that approval of the FGEIS did not mean that the project itself had been approved, but that the board had determined that all of the concerns raised in the initial Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement (DGEIS) were resolved.
Under the New York State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) process, the Town Board is required to review the potential environmental effects of a project, identify the ways to mitigate the unavoidable impacts and balance the environmental impacts with the benefits that will be achieved by the proposed project. “It’s been three years since we started the process in 2011,” Bakner said, “a lengthy but very appropriate environmental review for this project.”
The Hudson Valley Wine Village will encompass 440 acres of land at Route 9W and Blue Point Road in the Town of Lloyd. “Of that 440 acres,” said Bakner, “281 acres will remain undisturbed. So 65 percent of the site will be left in its natural state.”
The development is centered around a 103-suite hotel, conference center, spa and restaurant and includes 450,000 square feet of industrial buildings for 21st-century manufacturing and 155,000 square feet of office and commercial space along with 800 residential units. The project will also create public walking trails along the Hudson River Bluff to provide access to Franny Reese State Park and Walkway Over the Hudson. It is anticipated to bring jobs and tourism to the region over a 20-year build-out period, creating more than 1,800 permanent jobs in the long-term and $7.6 million in earnings each year of the 20 years for the 164 construction jobs created.
Now that the environmental review process is complete, the next step will be for the Town Board to address a few minor revisions in the FGEIS, said Bakner, and file it along with a completed State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) Statement of Findings. The FGEIS is posted on the town website at www.townoflloyd.com, as are all other legal documents pertaining to town business, and after that, the board determines how to rezone the property. There will be a notice of rezoning posted on the town website and a public hearing held sometime in September or October, according to Bakner.