Story by Katie Bisaro
The Village of Warwick Planning Board discussed two proposed development projects during the regular meeting on Thurs., June 21 – an apartment building proposed for Forester Ave. in the area in front of Mechanical Rubber and a subdivision in the area of Woodside Dr., Locust St. and Sleepy Valley Rd.
Proposed Apartments on Forester Ave.
The Planning Board heard a presentation regarding a proposed apartment building on property located on Forester Ave. in front of the Mechanical Rubber facility, next to the American Legion Hall. Property owner Bo Kennedy, of The Kennedy Companies, previously appeared before the Planning Board to discuss his concept for that property. Since that time, the Planning Board has also met with the Village Board and the Architecture Review Board (ARB) to discuss Kennedy’s proposals.
Kennedy was accompanied by his architecture team, based out of Philadelphia, PA, which specializes in Traditional Neighborhood Development. The proposed apartment building will have 40 total units in it, including eight townhome-style apartments and 32 traditional apartments with a mix of two-bedroom, one-bedroom with den and one-bedroom units.
The U-shaped design calls for the townhome-style units to face Forester Ave., four on each side of an archway that will lead to a common garden courtyard area. The remaining apartments will be built perpendicular to the front townhome units overlooking the courtyard. All units will have a view of either the courtyard or of the neighbors. None will overlook Mechanical Rubber.
The apartments will be organized around stairways that will access the courtyard as well as the parking areas. Parking will be underneath the rear units. The average height of the building has been determined to be 34 feet.
The Planning Board briefly discussed the impact on parking for the adjacent properties. The American Legion, which traditionally uses the Kennedy lot for overflow parking, will also lose the entrance to their parking area on that side. Kennedy noted that he has been working with the American Legion on possible solutions but that ultimately, they are two separate lots.
There is sufficient parking for Mechanical Rubber on the east side of the building and access to the one loading dock utilized at the facility will not be impeded. However an access agreement will need to be worked out.
No action was necessary from the Planning Board regarding this project as a site plan has not yet been formally submitted.
Village View Subdivision Moves Forward
Representatives from Village View Estates met with the Planning Board to discuss progress being made on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), a necessary component in the approval process. The attorney for the applicant, Jay Myrow, explained that all requested changes in the DEIS have been made and the applicant is looking to go to the next steps.
Annexation Issue Still Pending
The discussion centered around the need for an annexation of a small sliver of land (less than half an acre, some of which will remain as open space) in order to complete various components of the application process, including State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) requirements. The Planning Board believes that the annexation must take place before further actions can be considered.
The annexation is part of the “preferred plan” being considered as its purpose is to avoid a road crossing the stream.
Myrow has inquired of the Mayor and the Town Supervisor as to whether the inter-municipal agreement for annexation, last renewed in 2008 for a five-year term, had been extended past 2013. According to Myrow, the Town Supervisor replied that it had not been extended. The Mayor has not yet responded.
The applicant would like the DEIS deemed complete in order to send to send it out for the necessary comments, including those from the Village Board, Town Board and all who have an interest in the matter. The comments can then be addressed in the final Environmental Impact Statement necessary for approval.
Plan Now Includes Affordable Housing
The subdivision plan now includes affordable housing options. Previously, the plan called for 45 lots, all single-family homes. The plan has been revised. It still 45 lots, but now 48 homes, as three of those lots have been designated for townhomes.
Myrow believes that all necessary items have been addressed to complete the DEIS and that the annexation issue does not have to be a part of accepting the DEIS. Planning Board Attorney Robert Dickover pointed out that the document, as prepared by the applicant, would go out as a Planning Board document if accepted.
DEIS Accepted by Planning Board
On a motion by Bill Olsen, seconded by Jesse Gallo, the Planning Board accepted the applicant’s DEIS for the Village View subdivision and authorized the applicant to distribute it to other agencies as required on the Planning Board’s behalf.
Public Hearing Set for July 19
A public hearing regarding the Village View subdivision has been set for Thurs., Jul. 19, with additional comments due by Thurs., Aug. 2. The hearing will be held at 7:30 p.m. Village Hall, located at 77 Main St. in Warwick NY.