Thursday, September 3, 2015

Marlborough Project Requests Zone Change


Perhaps the economy is getting better - at least the developer of the Bayside project thinks so. After a long absence, representatives of this project recently returned to the Marlborough Town Board to request a needed zone change in order to proceed. The project is being proposed at the intersection of Route 9W near Purdy Avenue.

The project’s attorney, Dominic Cordisco, of Drake and Loeb along with engineers Andrew Fetherston and Joseph Dopico of Maser Consulting, brought the board up to speed on the present status of the project.

Cordisco said the project is requesting a zone change from residential one acre [R-1] to simply residential [R]. He said the R district is “more lenient” and would allow the same project but not confine the developer to a senior, age restricted project.

Cordisco said his client also wishes to amend his residential project to include 12,500 square feet of commercial space along Route 9W, which the parcel fronts. In addition, owners of an adjoining parcel, John and Joseph Amedeo, have joined with the developer in seeking the zone change for their parcel that runs to Birdsall Lane.

Cordisco said the newest plan has been refined.

“We are not looking for a rush to judgment on anything,” Cordisco told the board. “All we are trying to do is to start the process that has been before you for a long time under the old petition.”

Fetherston apprised the board on their revised plan. The proposed project is for 101 mix designed units of Duplex, Townhouses and some rentals above the commercial structure by Route 9W. The engineer said they are hoping to do a “perfect alignment” of their project’s road with the proposed traffic light at the Elementary School. Fetherston said he has discussed this with the Marlboro School Board, the Department of Transportation [DOT], Town Officials and has received comments from the Town Highway Department on this issue. Fetherston said there will now only be a gated entrance/exit out to Purdy Lane that will only be used by emergency vehicles and not by residents of the project. He added that the Duplex units along Purdy will be designed to reflect the architecture of the existing single family homes on the north side of the road.

On the south side of the parcel, which borders the Middle School, Fetherston said they have incorporated sidewalks to allow children to safely walk down to Route 9W and “all the way across to the Elementary School,” thus preventing the dangerous situation of children walking on the shoulders of this busy roadway. He said there will be more parking provided for the public in the new plan. Fetherston said they are “completely staying out” of the Federal wetlands on the back side of the property.

“This is a conceptual plan that is evolving and has evolved over time,” he said.

Supervisor Chris Cerone said no cars or garages will face Purdy to lessen the lighting impact to the existing homeowners there.

“There are no garages, no driveways entering Purdy,” Fetherston agreed. “They all enter the internal road [on the site],”

Councilman Dr. Anthony Pascale said the units will all be owner occupied and not be held by absentee landlords. He added that he believed the 2-story Duplex units may be 55 and older.

“We are open to that,” Cordisco said. “At this time we need to start the process to start the zone change.”

Cordisco said the plan is designed to meet the town’s zoning code.

“We’re saying take an existing zoning district that you already have in town, the R district and apply it to this site,” he said.

Cordisco said the project is entirely within the water district but only partially within the sewer district, categorizing the extension of the sewer district as “still an open item.” He said he will have to calculate what the project’s fair share contribution to this district will be.

Cordisco asked the board to circulate to the other involved boards for lead agency as a way to begin the process. He said this will indicate that the Town Board feels the project is “worthy of consideration.”

“It is not giving thumbs up or thumbs down,” he noted. “But it is at least starting the process so that we can do a full environmental review. That is important because we are not trying to cut any corners.”

A full review will take into consideration the impacts that Bayside will have upon traffic, water, and sewer, storm water, visual and financial upon the town.

The Town Board made a motion to circulate as lead agency, as Cordisco suggested, and made it subject to the developer providing an escrow deposit.

In a follow up interview, Cerone said he will consider Bayside separately from the nearby Dockside project, who is also asking for a zone change to residential. Both projects have been sent to the Ulster County Planning Board for their comments.

“I am looking at them both at the same time, but I’m taking each project on its merits,” he said. “They are both going to have to do full traffic studies and long form Environmental Impact Statements [EIS]. They have to go through the whole process.”

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