A proposal to extend Harrison Court, which is inside the Glasco Ponds subdivision in Saugerties, drew just one question at a public hearing at the Town of Saugerties Planning Board meeting on Tuesday, February 15. The developers, Greenspace Realty, propose to extend Harrison Court approximately 350 feet to the south, opening up a landlocked area, and then adding six new residential building lots. Lot line changes include removing the old cul-de-sac at the original end of Harrison Court and give that land to the adjoining landowners. The total land involved is roughly eleven acres, but the buildable area is constrained by federal wetlands, said engineer Bruce Utter. The houses would be built in the three acres nearest the end of the extended road.
Rich Donlon, who lives near the proposed subdivision on Route 9W, wanted to know whether two of the larger lots, which are about four acres in size, could be further subdivided, or “are these to be deemed two-acre lots forever.”
Utter noted that much of the land is wet and there are intermittent streams. The land becomes steep so “there really isn’t that much buildable land.” While it would be difficult to further subdivide the lots, if anyone planned to do it, they would have to come back to the Planning Board, Utter said.
Max Stach, the board’s consultant, said there was still information that should be shown on the site plan. In particular, street trees, street lighting, signage and sidewalks. Stach suggested monuments to mark the areas where the wetlands begin to clarify these limitations for the property owners in case they wanted to construct something in that area. Utter said there is a note on the map that the owners are to stake out the wetlands. Stach said the Planning Board should determine whether the addition of the lots would bring the total up to more than the allowable number of lots on a road. The Planning Board could waive that standard, he said. The primary purpose of the limitation is that it could be difficult for emergency services to deal with emergencies if the number of residents of a dead-end road were too large. Planning Board member Mike Tiano said the fire chief lived on the road and there is no problem. However, he said the addition of street lighting to the plan would improve safety on the road and suggested that they could be added. The board voted to waive the limitation on the number of homes that could be built. The board will have to inform several other agencies of the need for an environmental study and to see whether one would want to be lead agency on the study. The question of lighting on the road would be one that should be looked at, Stach said. However, Utter said the provision of lights would require the establishment of a lighting district, which would be costly and complicated. He questioned whether it would be worth it for just six lots. Planning Board member Carole Furman asked whether there is lighting on the existing houses along the road and Tiano said there is none and the road is very dark. “I think lighting is a good idea,” Furman said. Furman and Tiano also agreed that sidewalks possibly should be provided for the safety of the residents, especially the children. Utter said later in the meeting that grass along the side of the road provides natural drainage and is considered better for the environment.
The Planning Board voted to be the lead agency in an environmental review of the project.
There are still a number of outstanding questions, and the board will hold a second public hearing after such issues as the number of units on the road, lighting and possible sidewalks are resolved. While Post suggested the hearing be scheduled for the board’s March meeting, Utter said he would like more time to get everything that is required done.