Town Planning Board Meeting Tuesday October 9, 2007

The town of Tuxedo Planning Board met on October 9, 2007 at 7pm. Board member Jim Hayes was absent, and alternate Susan Goodfellow sat in his place.

The meeting began with a continuation of the Public Hearing for preliminary subdivision approval of Northridge, Phase 1 of the Tuxedo Reserve development.

Andrew Dance of Tuxedo Reserve opened the Public Hearing by briefly summarizing the Special Planning Board workshop held on October 3, 2007. He reported that following the workshop, representatives from Tuxedo Reserve met with Town consultants and will be submitting a revised list of waiver requests for the Planning Board’s consideration on Friday, October 26, 2007. He went on to suggest that another special workshop be conducted before the next regularly scheduled PB meeting (November 13, 2007)

Mary Graetzer of Tuxedo Park expressed concerns about the extensive list of waiver requests, pointing out that there are 102 waiver requests being sought for an area that will contain 103 homes. She urged the Planning Board to make sure that all of their concerns, as well as those of their consultants, have been properly addressed before voting on preliminary approval.

David du Pont of Tuxedo Park raised 3 important concerns with regard to the waiver requests. First, he pointed out that information on the requests is not broadly available and asked that each waiver be explained to the public so that they might be able to form an intelligent opinion. Second, he asked about the impact of the waivers upon the Tuxedo Community individually and cumulatively as the project relates to our environment, our community, and most importantly, the future costs that granting one or more waivers now may have upon us as taxpayers. Lastly, Mr du Pont asked should one or more of these waivers be granted, where will the Town’s obligation to provide ongoing over site and enforcement come from and who will pay for this over site and enforcement? Mr. du Pont also requested that the developer send a complete set of plans to the Tuxedo Park Village Office and inquired about the possibility of providing electronic versions of this material.

Michele Lindsay of Tuxedo Park inquired as to the difference between a waiver and a variance. Steve Barshov, lawyer for Tuxedo Reserve, explained that a variance usually pertains to varied zoning while a waiver is not restricted to zoning issues. Tuxedo Reserve has submitted a preliminary site-plan of Northridge for approval and any place on this preliminary plan where there is even the slightest deviation from the original plan, which presented at the time the applicant’s Special Permit was issued, a waiver must be requested. Mr. Barshov explained that some of the 102 waiver requests are very minor modifications to the plan while others are major changes. Mrs. Lindsay then asked which changes were minor and which were major and was told that the largest change in the plan was the reconfiguration of roads in an effort to preserve a hill, that was originally slated to be flattened.

Ulrich Pendl of Tuxedo Park inquired as to the history of the developer, Related Companies, and wanted to know if they have ever completed a project of the same size and scope of Tuxedo Reserve. Andrew Dance of Tuxedo Reserve explained that, while there is a similar project ongoing in Colorado, Related has not yet completed a large development of this scope.

Following these comments, the Board agreed to schedule another Special Workshop (date TBD) to discuss the revised list of waiver requests. The public hearing on Northridge remains open.

Radha Soami Society Beas presented a preliminary sketch of their plans to acquire land from the Sisters Immaculata on Sterling Mine Road in Tuxedo, opposite Eagle Valley Road. The group plans to build an education center for their members and residences for visiting speakers. There will be special retreats at this site, which will attract 3000 – 5000 people. On a regular basis, the center will hold meetings at least weekly with approximately 300 people in attendance. The group will prepare their environmental impact assessment as part of their application for the Planning Board.


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