Access road disagreement delays approval of 53-unit apartment complex in Saugerties

(Photo by Will Dendis)

Country Meadows a 53-unit apartment complex planned for North Street, will be one meeting away from gaining village of Saugerties planning board approval if one detail can be ironed out. At a March 8 planning board public hearing, a problem came to light that Pat Simmons of Premier Development thought had been taken care of four years ago when he first submitted plans to the village to build an apartment complex.

As part of that plan, Simmons and an adjoining landowner agreed to an easement through the project so the neighbor could have access to his land.

That neighbor, Frank Smedek, attended the March 8 meeting and raised concerns about the easement. Simmons said he was surprised. He had believed everything was in place to move forward.

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Even board attorney Alex Betke said he thought the eight-foot-wide easement was in place on all the plans submitted by Simmons. However, Smedek, who is looking to sell his property, disagreed. He said the easement was supposed to be a straight path to his property rather than the curving path shown on Simmons’ plans.

Smedek vehemently argued that what had been agreed upon was a straight path and not a curved path.

“We had this discussion four years ago, and at that time we had an agreement,” Simmons said.

“That easement’s been there since the 1900s,” Smedek replied, “and it’s always been a straight line.”

Smedek added the property has been in his family long before Simmons purchased the adjoining parcel.

Board chair Mary Leahy told both sides to have their lawyers work it all out. The board could not make a decision until then. She also kept the public hearing open and will accept written comments from the public on the application until April 8.

A decision may be made on the proposed apartment complex at the board’s April 12 meeting at 6:30 p.m.

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