Saugerties’ town planning board last week conditionally approved plans for a Holiday Inn Express hotel and a secondary building on Route 32, but added more than a page of conditions that must be met before work can begin on the project.
The plan includes an 86-unit Holiday Inn and a 4500 square-foot restaurant. Off-site road and access improvements were included. The cost of materials for the road improvements would be borne by the applicant, Saugerties, NY Development Limited Partnership, and labor would be supplied by town government. Because the proposed motel is close to the historic Wynkoop house, the planners emphasized adequate screening between the proposed construction and the historic building. The proposed motel site was also slightly moved to retain the surroundings for the historic house.
Conditions include approvals from the New York Department of Transportation (DOT) for the design of connection of Old Route 32, the main entry into the property, with Route 32, and other issues related to the road (a short spur runs behind the gas station opposite the Thruway entrance). The developer is still in discussions with DOT regarding the adequacy of the road to carry the traffic entering and leaving this road, and whether it will need to be upgraded at the developer’s expense. The Saugerties highway department has approved the plans for the entry to and exit from the property, said engineer Khattar Elmassalemah.
Among other issues are the approval of agreements for water and sewer connections to a project outside the established districts with the village and town, approval of lighting and stormwater management plans by town engineers Brinnier and Larios, submission of the final site plan for the planning board’s signature, payment of fees, and approval of the necessary curb cuts.
Elmassalemah said some of these issues are still being discussed with the relevant state agencies. No construction may begin until they are resolved. Work on the project could begin this spring, Elmassalemah said.
Elmassalemah said the water and sewer plan has been reviewed by the town’s engineers. “The water and sewer will run from the intersection of Routes 32 and 212,” he said. The water line would run across Winston Farm to the property, and the sewer line would connect with the line from a Hess gas station connected to the village plant. The agreement with the owner of the Hess station is pending, said attorney Michael Moriello.
While the state Department of Transportation will allow maintaining Old Route 32 as a two-way road and its intersections with Route 32, the engineers are still working out an agreement on the traffic numbers, based on several studies. “Their model is showing the need for extra lane right now – a turn lane from Route 32 to Old Route 32. The numbers coming from the traffic engineer [Creighton Manning] don’t show the need for that,” Elmassalemah said.
Prior to the board’s adopting the conditional approval resolution, Moriello noted some of the additional changes and conditions. For instance, the resolution as drafted had said the project would need correspondence from the DOT before a certificate of occupancy could be issued. Board consultant Dan Shuster changed that to approval from the DOT.
Following the vote to approve the plan, Moriello and Elmassalemah agreed that while the process had been long and involved, the planning board’s scrutiny had made the project better. “This is a stronger plan, now, because of the work they did,” Moriello said. “They put a lot of work into this.”
The next meeting will be on April 21, a Thursday, because the Senior Center will be in use for primary elections on April 19, the usual meeting date.