Tuesday, November 22, 2005


Public Comments Invited at November 29 Meeting The Hurley Planning Board’s scoping session for the Hidden Forest development has now been rescheduled for Tuesday, November 29 at 7 p.m. It will be at the St. Joseph’s Mission on Zandhoek Road, near Lucas Avenue Extension. This is the meeting that was to be hold on October 26, but which was cancelled at the last minute. Let’s hope this one goes through. Scoping is part of the New York State-mandated Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) required of all large developments. It is the process by which the issues to be addressed in the EIS are identified. According to the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), the objectives of the process include focusing the EIS on potentially significant adverse environmental impacts, identifying the extent and quality of information needed about each issue, and specifying the range of reasonable alternatives. “Scoping must provide the public with an opportunity to participate in the identification of impacts ” is also one of the objectives. This is one of the very few times the residents of Hurley will have a chance to have a formal input about their concerns regarding the development. The DEC advises that the public be as specific as possible about concerns. Among the areas which the developers are to cover in the EIS are land use, zoning, geology, soils, topography and slopes, wetlands and watercourses [streams], vegetation and wildlife, stormwater management [runoff], water supply, wastewater treatment, traffic and transportation including access roads, town population and characteristics, housing supply, fiscal impacts such as property taxes, economic activity, historic and archeological resources, visual resources, air quality, noise, and community facilities such as schools, fire and emergency protection, police, parks and recreation, and libraries. Among environmental issues not mentioned is lighting. Comments on any or all of these topics and even those not mentioned may be made verbally at the meeting or in writing to Paul Hakim, Chair, Hurley Planning Board, Hurley Town Hall, 10 Wamsley Place, Hurley, NY 12443. They should be sent by the date of the meeting, although there is the possibility of an extension of a few weeks. The State does not require scoping comments to be accepted after this final date without a long, formal process. Judging from past meetings, residents most likely will not receive adequate responses to questions at this session, but your opinions will be noted. And the more people who attend the session, the more the developers and the town officials will be aware that the people of Hurley very much care about the town and its future.