Catskill Terrace, a ten-lot subdivision, was presented to the Town of Saugerties Planning Board as a conventional subdivision at its regular meeting on Tuesday, April 20. The town law required that the developer consider clustering the building lots to preserve open space, and engineer Jeff Hogan did that study before he and the Planning Board agreed to develop it as a conventional subdivision.
The proposed subdivision would occupy about 90 acres, located at Ralph Vedder and Manorville Roads. The plans show three internal roads, two of which connect to Ralph Vedder Road and one to Manorville Road.
The proposal by Catskill Terraces/HV Contemporary Homes LLC comprises three parcels, two of 44 acres each, and one 1.3-acre parcel. Of the two 44-acre lots, one would contain six building lots and the other four. The lots are large, seven to ten acres, the plans show.
Part of the conservation analysis of the property involves maintaining the existing woodlands. The subdivision map shows large areas that are not to be cleared between and around several of the lots. These areas would be protected from future clearing with restrictions written into the deeds, Hogan said. “The only exceptions would be for driveways, utilities and the roads to these houses. Once these are done, these areas [shown on the map] would be restricted from clear cutting.”
The next submission will show more detailed indications of the areas to be preserved from cutting, water runoff and other detail, now that the basic plan is approved for further detail, Hogan said. “I hope I’m moving in the right direction with the lot layout and we can keep moving forward from here.”
Board members did not have questions, but all praised the delineation of forest areas to be preserved and the clarity of the plans.
In response to a question, Hogan said the developer would prefer not to do any blasting in rock outcrops, but would not want to rule it out. Attorney Michael Moriello said blasting in New York State is not subject to environmental review, but liability for damage caused by blasting is subject to very strict liability regulations. He reiterated that the developer would prefer not to do any blasting.
The discussion also included protecting trees and whether they needed to be measured and mapped, traffic information and protection of a stream. The board agreed to waive a requirement that any tree greater than eight inches in diameter be marked and protected from cutting.
Developer Marica McKeel said her view of development is “we do as much as we need to, but not more.” As far as the trees on this site are concerned, she said she would be happy to walk the property and identify trees that need to be protected, and to move a house site to avoid cutting one. “If there is a fantastic tree on my property, it would be my goal to preserve it, and not let someone that might buy the property take it down.”
Hogan said he will add details to the plan, make some changes suggested by the board’s consultant, Adriana Beltrani, and bring the proposal back to the planners for further discussion.