Developer to improve road to proposed subdivision
The narrow road leading to a proposed four-lot subdivision off Wilhelm Road in Saugerties could be improved soon, Town of Saugerties engineer Chris DiChiaro told the Town of Saugerties Planning Board at its regular meeting on Tuesday, September 21.
Two issues — the ability of fire trucks to reach the proposed development and the use of a shared driveway between two of the lots — have been settled, DiChiaro said.
The four-lot subdivision is proposed by Robert Gelb and Norman Hill. Originally submitted as a five-lot subdivision, it has been reduced to four lots because one lot was not suitable for septic systems.
In response to a question from a neighbor of the proposed subdivision, DiChiaro said the developers will bring the road “as close as we can get to private road standards.” The road currently has a grade of 20 percent at its steepest portions and the developers will bring it down to about 12 percent. “Not quite to the ten percent we would like, but a lot better than what’s there,” DiChiaro said. The culverts and drainage would also be improved.
The neighbor wanted to know whether the developer planned to increase the width of the road to 16 feet. This would mean moving a fence in one spot and that would require permission from the property owner, DiChiaro said. “We’re trying not to impact any utility poles. Right now, we can get to 16 feet without impacting the house or any utility poles,” he said. The developers would also improve the drainage and culverts along the road. However, “there are no plans to pave the road at this time.”
The neighbor asked that before work on the road begins, “you get a little feedback from the neighbors. If it is an improvement, it should be an improvement not only for the people in the subdivision, but for the people that are currently using the private road.”
DiChiaro said the improvements the developer is planning would “be an improvement for everybody on the road” and added that he had hoped to get preliminary approval and a negative declaration [no environmental impact] at the meeting. The board voted for the negative declaration but not preliminary approval. The board also voted to keep the public hearing open.
Saugerties planners set a public hearing for Catskill Terrace
The Town of Saugerties Planning Board voted at its regular meeting on September 21 to schedule a public hearing on plans for Catskill Terrace, a ten-lot subdivision on Manorville and Ralph Vedder Roads for its next meeting on October 19. The hearing will be the second on the plan; a hearing in August drew a large number of comments from neighbors concerned about traffic and potential stress on the aquifer that supplies water to the area.
The plan envisions large lots — ten to 15 acres on the 89-acre parcel. More than half the total area would be protected from development, engineer Jeff Hogan said at the public hearing last month. The limitation on removal of trees would be written into the deeds.
The board voted to ratify a negative declaration, a statement that the project won’t adversely affect the environment.
Sidewalks recommended for proposed apartment development in Saugerties
Does a 150-unit apartment complex need to have sidewalks within its boundaries?
Town of Saugerties Planning Board member Carole Furman questioned whether there is sufficient parking at the pool proposed for the complex and said the complex should provide sidewalks for pedestrians.
The proposal is for 15 buildings on Route 9W, Glasco Turnpike and Belknap Lane, off Glasco Turnpike. The project includes a swimming pool for the use of the tenants.
Chris LaPorta of Passero Associates said that most people would walk to the pool so the parking provided is sufficient. “It is a very walkable community, it’s not very long a distance. As for the sidewalks, it is a closed community; it’s just the residents of the community. There’s not that much traffic on the roads that would make it unmanageable for residents to walk to the pool,” he said.
The community has short driveways and adding sidewalks would reduce them, making parking difficult, he said, adding that while there may be some areas where there is a berm or other space, it might be feasible to add sidewalks, but for most of the development it would not work. “We will take another look and see if there is some way to improve that.”
Board member Ken Goldberg agreed that sidewalks are an asset in a community, as they encourage walking and help people to meet and get to know each other. Being able to visit neighbors safely would also encourage a greater sense of community,
Board member Mike Tiano recalled that he had pressed for sidewalks in the Farmhouse Commons development, and he is pleased to see the children walking to their school bus safely because of them. “I am a great proponent of sidewalks,” he said. “I would also like to see a sidewalk parallel to [Route] 9W,” he said.
Several other board members said they agreed that sidewalks are an important component of a development like this one. “We will find a way to make sidewalks work,” LaPorta said.
Prior to the board discussion, LaPorta updated the board on some of the preliminary work the developers have been doing. He said the water and sewer plants have the capacity to serve the development; required state and county permits are in the works and a traffic impact study is underway. The developers are working on implementing a request from Planning Consultant Adriana Beltrani to fence the pool. Existing foliage should adequately shield the pool from neighbors’ views for part of the perimeter; they want to discuss shielding the rest with Beltrani, LaPorta said.
Beltrani was not at the meeting, but board secretary Becky Bertorelli said she had left a list of items that should be discussed, including lighting and provision of a children’s playground. LaPorta said lighting plans would be forthcoming, and while “we’re not showing one now, we could add a playground area.”
The board voted to refer the plans to the Ulster County Planning Board.