RISKY BUSINESS

Good Evening; I am grateful for the Town Council’s dedication to Tuxedo and for the opportunity of this public hearing.

A “SDEIS”, like any “EIS”, is a risk analysis. The document is intended to evaluate a project’s environmental risks, health risks, fiscal risks, utility risks, traffic risks etc., etc.

By anyone’s measure, TR is an enormous and complex project, and we Tuxedo residents have accepted many significant and consequent risks through the approval of its Special Permit in 2004:

a.) We have accepted the risk that several thousand additional cars and trucks won’t bring our rush-hour traffic to a standstill
b.) We have accepted the risk that the TR development will, from day 1, always be tax positive and won’t increase our own individual Town or School property taxes
c.) We have accepted the risk that years of noise, dust, blasting, construction and thousands of truck trips in and out won’t disturb our lives or livelihoods
d.) We have accepted the risk that 1200 new units, burning fossil fuels, won’t affect our air quality even after thousands of photosynthesizing trees have been removed
e.) We have accepted the risk that TR’s doubling of the Town’s population won’t adversely affect the safety, serenity, and low crime rate which brought us all here in the first place
f.) We have accepted the risk that TR won’t displace existing Hamlet merchants, that commuter buses won’t be overloaded and that there will still be enough parking at the train station!

We residents are already shouldering all this risk, but where does our burden end? I say respectfully “enough is enough”!

Yes, TR has generously contributed to the restoration of our Train Station and, yes, they have promised grants and loans for a Hamlet revitalization as well. But TR’s revised project has to earn approval on its own merit, not upon receipt of gifts and favors, as welcome as they may be.

Tuxedo Reserve has complained vociferously that approval of their Development Plan and S.P. took over 10 years! Well they had those 10 years to get it right, why are they now adding additional risky propositions to the project?

1.) Why are we residents being asked again to take on still more risk that massive new retaining walls and denuded cut/fill areas won’t produce flooding, erosion and huge maintenance costs for our Town DPW, and hence for us as taxpayers.

2.) Why should we current residents be called upon again to accept the risk that TR’s newly proposed modifications won’t discharge bituminous-contaminated runoff into the Ramapo and into Tuxedo Reservoir when the entire project is now within these water-sheds.
3.) Why are we asked to absorb the risk that by shifting housing units away from vernal-pool amphibians, but into the bowl of Mountain Lake, we will reduce environmental hazards when this precept so smacks of commercialism rather than environmentalism?
4.) Why should we residents accept the risk that loading Phase 1 (which is 3X larger than Phase 2 or 3) with multi-family units will somehow reduce the number of school children by 1/3. We are told that each student costs approx. $24K per year to educate, which itself is 2 to 4 times the School taxes collected from a TR unit.
5.) Why should we risk accepting that hundreds of Active Adult units will remain so even though the target “Baby Boomer” market will likely be in its 70’s with no successor “wave” to sell to? Why should we bare the risk that these units may become family homes with the consequent demands for more schools and teachers.
6.) Why again are we called upon to accommodate the risk that either the developer or the H.O.A. will be able to manage 130,000 sq.ft. of stores, library, jitney garage, welcome center, club house, pool, post office, business center etc. According to AKRF Consultants, this is a 60,000 s.f. increase over the original plan, that’s 1.3 football fields of additional space to maintain and manage. Who steps in if these properties deteriorate or the enterprises fail?
7.) Why should we current-citizens of Tuxedo be risking the experiment of applying a prototype “Smart Code” for the first time to a huge scale development in extremely difficult terrain. Where is the evidence that “Smart Code” works at all, much less side-by-side with a Municipal Code in a 1200-unit cluster?

Again, I respectfully say “enough is enough”. There is so much risk associated with this oversized P.I.D. that it seems we are naively setting ourselves up for yet another real-estate debacle. As always, we taxpayers will be called upon for the bailout.

Let’s stick to what we promised, the 2004 S.P., that’s quite enough risk, in itself, to the stability of our Town and to the well-being of its current residents.
Thank you for your kind consideration.

Peter J. Regna
117 West Lake Road
Resident 1976

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