Tuxedo Reserve: Why Should We Care? | October 18, 2009

The proposed development, Tuxedo Reserve, is currently before our Town Board with amendments to the original Special Permit approved in 2004. These changes to the Special Permit, which the developer wants are extensive and should be given careful consideration.

This is the single largest development in the history of Orange County, with 1,195 housing units and 33,000 square feet of commercial space, and it will have a dramatic affect on life in Tuxedo and the surrounding area now and in the future.

Contrary to popular belief, we are not safe because the economic environment for large developments is bad right now. The common response is “Who cares? It’s not going to happen now.” However, the Special Permit, if approved, would run with the property, for whomever and whenever the development is built. The Tuxedo Reserve developer has indicated that they plan to sell some or all of the property to other developers.

Environmental concerns
This development is in a rural, environmentally sensitive area. The proposed changes include development around Mountain Lake – which was protected under the 2004 Special Permit. In addition, new development is proposed on approximately 30 acres in the Tuxedo Lake Reservoir watershed basin. The development requires extensive rock blasting that will have a significant negative impact on the environment. Of grave concern is the total of 150 acres that will be impervious roofs and pavement that could cause serious storm-water runoff problems

Traffic concerns
Increased traffic will clog roads that already are overburdened. Tuxedo Reserve is seeking to eliminated some of the traffic improvements included in the 2004 Special Permit.

Tax concerns
The applicant claims that the project is tax positive. However the assumptions they make in the SEIS are unrealistic, with extremely low estimates of school age children for whom we will have to build new schools, and high estimates of real estate values and property tax revenues.

Quality Control
The “Smart Code” proposed by the developer will only enhance their ability to flip the project to some one else and does not provide adequate protection under the zoning code of Tuxedo.

Increase in commercial space
The proposed increase in commercial space from 3,000 square feet to 33,000 square feet will compete with attempts to improve downtown Tuxedo and add truck traffic to a residential area.

The current Town Board appears to acquiesce the developer’s requests for rushing through the legal process, with a lack of respect for those who question the process and/or oppose it. Please attend the public hearing on Monday, October 26, at 7:30 PM; it may be the last time for your voice to be heard.

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