The Town of Kingston finally scheduled a site for its upcoming Special Planning Board Meeting on Thursday, August 29.
The 7 p.m. meeting at M. Clifford Miller Middle School located at 65 Fording Place in Lake Katrine was announced by the town in a an August 21 email that said, “This is not a public hearing, and no public comments will be heard…Topics will include the possible rescission of the SEQRA Negative Declaration for the proposed project and the recognition of the Town Board as a SEQRA Involved Agency.”
Thus the focus of the meeting will be the town’s contentious 850 Route 28 Project application to build a large manufacturing facility on property surrounded by the state-owned Bluestone Wild Forest, Onteora Lake recreation area, and newer-purchased trailed lands currently owned by the Open Space Institute.
The 850 Route 28 LLC proposal calls for the creation of two 120,000 square foot buildings for a precast concrete manufacturing operation, and several years of heavy site preparations that seek to remove 21 plus acres of trees and approximately 150,000 yards of ground material via blasting and the use of a rock crusher 12 hours each day for a period of at least 18 months. The planning board decided this past spring, before most people knew the application was under review (including OSI, which had just bought 208 acres of adjoining property for trails and the hooking up of the state Wild Forest’s two halves), that the proposal was a type 1 SEQRA action, with a Negative Declaration of impact, meaning it would not need an extensive Environmental Impact Statement study.
Since then, hearings have been standing-room-only and, one, a late July session, was postponed due to crowd sizes.
Also, 850 Route 28 LLC owner Tom Auringer of Long Island and Woodstock, a Kingston native whose affiliated companies also own crane and manufacturing entities throughout the greater New York metro area, has sued the neighboring Town of Woodstock over decisions it rendered in the past year regarding a residence he owns on a mountain there.
Both sides in the current review process have spoken about possible lawsuits facing the Town of Kingston and its planning board.
Meanwhile, the Woodstock Land Conservancy has formed a regular series of Bluestone Wild Forest Citizen Group Meetings every Wednesday and Friday night from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Old Dutch Church, 272 Wall Street in Kingston, and helped organize approximately one hundred concerned citizens who raised the subject at this past week’s Ulster County Legislature meeting in Kingston.