Tuesday, November 08, 2016
Two projects seeking approvals from the Bloomingburg Planning Board have more work to do before the board meets again Dec. 1, while town residents continue to express disapproval over projects they think are skirting the rules.
For Chestnut Ridge, an ongoing and controversial 396 townhouse project, developer Sullivan Farms, owned by Shalom Lamm, needs the planning board to approve site plan amendments that will address fire code violations.
Roads need to be widened throughout the development and additional access created.
The project also needs the planning board to reaffirm its original approvals and recommend that the village board reaffirm the 2009 SEQRA findings, consulting planner Tom Shepstone said as he presented the proposals to the board Monday night.
The approvals were rescinded this summer by the Town of Mamakating in an ongoing legal battle over the development.
Shepstone was repeatedly scorned by some in the audience, often requiring planning board chairman Chaim Friedman to ask for quiet.
As Shepstone described the project's environmental impacts, stating that its water and sewer use are still well within the scope of the original plan, town residents scoffed at his information and called him a liar.
Shepstone said he was using information based on the 22 families who live in Chestnut Ridge, plus census data on Kiryas Joel, which says families in that Hasidic village are an average of 5.5 people, according to Shepstone.
Audience members expressed some surprise as Shepstone described a development in which women are not allowed to drive and no one drives on Fridays and Saturdays, although Sullivan Farms has vehemently stated that the development is open to all residents, not just Hasidic families.
After Shepstone's presentation, designer Herman Fisher presented a proposal to convert a residence near Chestnut Ridge into a five-classroom school.
The residence in question, 45 River Lane, was issued a stop-work order this summer after the town code enforcement officer found out the home was being converted to a school without any permits.
Fisher's presentation was lacking much of the information the board needed to consider the project.
Village engineer Tom Depuy issued memoranda on both projects with instructions about what further information needs to be provided.
The village's new code enforcement officer, Fusco Engineering, will also have to approve the projects, Depuy said, and village attorney Philip Butler said he would provide legal reviews.
The planning board will reconvene and further discuss the projects on Thursday, Dec. 1.
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