Story by A.J. Arias
The Village of Warwick Planning Board held a public hearing to consider the Village View Subdivision, located in the area of Locust St. and Woodside Dr., on Tues., Dec. 10. The public hearing gave neighbors and Village residents the opportunity to voice their concerns regarding the project that has been ongoing for years.
The Village Planning Board first approved the Village View development for 28 homes back in 2008. Since then developer Robert Silber has proposed a new plan that calls for 42 homes along with six townhouses or affordable living homes. This plan was then revised down to 32 homes as it currently stands.
The main issue voiced by neighbors regarding the project is concerns about traffic and road safety around the development. Several neighbors have criticized the traffic study that was conducted for the project. Most of the residents are concerned that the study didn’t include school hours, which they state is the busiest time in the Village in terms of traffic.
Residents Guy and Donna Kipp, of Locust St., took matters into their own hands to show the dangers of a new development in the area. Donna Kipp took it upon herself to stand at the intersection of Locust St. and Woodside Dr., which would be a main route for residents of the new neighborhood, and recorded a video on her iPad of cars going through. She said that in her day of recording the intersection she saw 39 vehicles that went through the stop sign without coming to a complete stop.
Others voiced their concerns regarding the lack of improvements to surrounding roads if the project continued. Road improvements were a condition in the original project approval in 2008 according to a number of testimonies. The road needing the most attention is Sleepy Valley Rd. due to its narrow width as well as a need for sidewalks.
Woodside Dr. resident Raymond Maher said that the project shouldn’t be approved until, “safety is the number one concern.” Maher made several suggestions in his comments to improve the safety of the project including the placement of exits into and out of the development.
Other Concerns with Project
Additional concerns regarding the project include the slope of the development and its roads with regards to flooding that occurs at the intersection of Locust St. and Woodside Dr. and the dangers that it can present.
Finally, residents stated their worries over what the development will do to the overall character of the Village and the lack of preservation that is proposed in the project.
The possibility that the development could expand after this project is completed with an additional 25 homes on an adjoining 80-acre lot located in the Town of Warwick is also a point of unease for residents of the Village.
All concerns, both written and verbal, that were presented at the public hearing will be addressed in the project’s Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS). That document will be reviewed by the Village Planning Board who will then decide if the project will move forward.
The next meeting of the Village of Warwick Planning Board will be on Tues., Jan. 14 at 7:30 p.m. in Village Hall, located at 77 Main St. in Warwick.