High woods subdivision green lighted

Monopoly House SQAn eight-lot subdivision planned for Lotus Lane off Fish Creek Rd. that would include a good deal of common land in addition to the lots, which vary from 1.3 to 3.2 acres in area, has received conditional approval from the Town of Saugerties Planning Board after more than five years in the works. The board voted unanimously to grant the approval, which includes a number of provisions the applicants must still complete before final approval.

The plans for the 30.4-acre site also include three common areas, ranging from just over one acre to almost 11 acres, Deborah Conathan told the board at its regular meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 16. The subdivision would be organized by a homeowners’ association, which would own the three common areas, one of which contains a gazebo, a basketball court and a handball court, according to the plans presented to the board.

The subdivision is the first application under a conservation subdivision provision, based on the fact that the lots are smaller than the zoning in the area requires but a large section is set aside, creating open space equivalent to the space the larger lots would provide. In this case, the open space is more than enough to provide two acres of land per lot.


The first public hearing on the plan was held back in Dec. 2009. A poor economy and the complexity of the project left it in limbo for three years. A public hearing on Feb. 18 was held open while the property owners, Ted and Deborah Conathan and Raymond and Ana Bergen, completed a long list of requirements, including completion of the establishment of the homeowners’ association and a letter signed by Fire Chief Randy Ricks stating that fire engines can access the property.

Deborah Conathan told the board that the application for a certificate of incorporation for the homeowners’ corporation has been filed, and the group is awaiting receipt of the final certificate. However, the letter from the fire chief has still not been obtained – though Post said Ricks had verbally agreed that the property is accessible. Board Secretary Juanita Wilsey suggested that Conathan write the letter, which Ricks could sign.

Planner Dan Shuster said the town attorney is reviewing the submitted paperwork, including easements, road maintenance agreement and homeowners’ association charter. “You can’t file the map until those conditions are satisfied,” he said. “Your final plan approval depends on all those things being completed.”

Ana Bergen, who is also a property owner, said following the meeting that there had at one time been two more families involved, but they had gradually moved away over time, leaving only the Bergens and the Conathans.

Deborah Conathan said that once the subdivision is approved, the Conathans and Bergens would each own a lot, and four lots would be offered for sale. The house on one lot is currently rented, and one lot would contain a small guest house. The remaining land would be owned by the homeowners’ corporation and would remain vacant.