Story by A.J. Arias
The Village of Warwick Planning Board voted unanimously on Thurs., Sept. 20 to keep the public hearing regarding the cluster subdivision request for the Village View neighborhood open for another month. The public hearing, which was moved from Village Hall to Town Hall due to high attendance, lasted for just over an hour as citizens gave their reasons as to why they believed the Village View Cluster Subdivision shouldn’t be approved.
Recap of Previous Events
The Village View neighborhood, which is located at the intersection Locust St. and Woodside Dr., was approved for 28 lots in 2007 but was never developed due to the country’s recession. The project has now gained traction again more than ten years later as builder Rob Silber has applied for a cluster subdivision on the lot, which consists of two applications. The first would take it from the 28 lots to 45 lots and the second would allow the possibility of low income housing, which would take it to 48 lots.
A public hearing regarding the project’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) opened back in July and now has been extended into October.
Numerous citizens who live in the surrounding areas gave their testimonials, which covered a variety of issues with the proposed neighborhood.
The main issues that were brought up during the public hearing were related to the steep slopes of the land, issues with water runoff and drainage, the narrow winding roads with low visibility on Locust St., and possible issues with traffic.
The key testimonial came from Steven Gross, the Principal at Hudson Highlands Environmental Consulting. Gross spoke for over 15 minutes, pointing out a number of issues with the DEIS. The issues covered a variety of topics including discrepancies in slope degrees in different maps in the DEIS, issues with calculations done for the number of properties that should be allowed on the land, issues with their population projections, and questions regarding the builder’s intentions if it’s possible that 80 acres of land, owned by Silber, could be annexed from the Town of Warwick into the Village of Warwick.
Kirk Rother is the engineer on the Village View project and has been present at all the meetings, on behalf of Robert Silber, to answer questions from the Board and to give updates on the property.
Following the hearing and the vote to extend the public hearing for another month, Rother gave his own testimonial in an attempt to assure the people of the Village that there are no hidden intentions with the property and that there is no application at this time to do anything with the 80 acres of land in the Town. The 80 acres of land are currently zoned one house per four acres of land.
Rother said that the property was proposed as part of Orange County’s recommendation for more affordable housing for new families throughout the County and will be available to everyone.
All questions from all the public hearings and written statements, which can still be submitted, will be addressed in the project’s Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS).
The Village of Warwick Planning Board will hold their next meeting on Thurs., Oct. 18 at 7:30 p.m. at Town Hall, located at 132 Kings Hwy. in Warwick NY.