Wednesday, February 22, 2017
With minimal opposition surfacing at Tuesday's public hearing on extending the town's building moratorium, the Blooming Grove Town Board was poised to approve a three- to six-month extension.
A vote is expected Tuesday on a local law extending the moratorium on the development of "any and all real property" in the town. That vote is expected at 7:30 p.m. as part of the regular Town Board meeting.
The three-month moratorium that will expire soon was enacted in November so the town could freeze construction while it updates its master plan. Supervisor Robert Fromaget said that master plan work is not complete, so the town will tack on the extension.
At Tuesday's hearing, Kathy and John Stegenga, who have been working with a Bronx-based solar company since November 2015 to install a $2 million solar array at their farm, pleaded for an exemption to the moratorium.
"We have been trying to work with the town from the beginning," said Kathy Stegenga, as she pushed her case for a hardship waiver. "This project would have the least impact on our neighbors." Fromaget said he's getting a legal opinion on the Stegengas' request.
The Stegengas said their plans call for a 2-megawatt installation, to be constructed by OnForce Solar, on 20 acres of their 100-acre farm. The farm is located off Woodcock Mountain Road, south of the Village of Washingtonville.
On Feb. 6, the South Blooming Grove Village Board approved a six-month residential building moratorium. That local law specifically excludes two major projects in the village: the proposed 566-home Clovewood Hasidic development near the intersection of Route 208 and Clove Road, and a 39,000-square-foot Sleep Inn, to be located off Route 208. Clovewood is going through the state Environmental Quality Review Act process. Work has started at the Sleep Inn site.
On Tuesday, the Washingtonville Village Board held a discussion about a building moratorium in Washingtonville.
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