Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Latest Scoping News

At the Hurley Planning Board meeting on January 9, Miles Putman of Shuster Associates, the Town’s planning consultant, gave the Board a preliminary review of the developer’s draft scoping document. He expects to have a final review by the Board’s next meeting on February 6. This final review will incorporate reports from the consultant review team as well as the many comments received from residents of Hurley and neighboring communities. This final review will, on the Board’s approval, be distributed to all involved agencies. Even this preliminary review runs 19 pages. His final review is expected to include the following topics: bedrock geology, soils and surficial geology, topography and slopes, hydrology: surface waters (watercourses), hydrogeology (ground water), wetlands, vegetation and wildlife, air quality and noise, traffic and transportation, utilities, land use and zoning, cultural and historic resources, visual and aesthetic resources, demographics and housing, fiscal analysis, and cumulative impacts. Each of these resource categories in the Environmental Impact Statement prepared by the developer will include the setting, the potential impacts, and measures to mitigate the impacts. Much of this review is highly technical. For instance, the part that interests most Hurley residents, that of hydrogeology or ground water, states that the Existing Conditions section will “provide a general description of existing groundwater conditions, including the presence, quality, quantity, extent and present use and rate of withdrawal of groundwater resources, including seasonal variations and fluctuations. Provide a discussion of locations of aquifers and recharge areas. It will acknowledge two recent studies prepared for the Town’s Conservation Advisory Council: Beinkafner’s study and ‘Draft Groundwater Protection Plan for the Old Hurley Area, Ulster County, New York,’ Steven Winkley, PG for the New York Rural Water Association, dated November 2005. Provide a description of off-site wells on properties adjacent to the project site.” The Environmental Impact Statement for the development, of which the main entrance is planned to be at 997 Lucas Avenue, should include detailed descriptions of many proposed actions, Including houses, streets, and existing zoning and site character. The review states: “The purpose or objective of the proposed action will be described as well as the public need for and public benefits(s) from the implementation of the proposed action.” The public does get to comment again when the developer submits the Draft Environmental Impact Statement. A more detailed version of the proposed development consultant review team is as follows: Bagdon Environmental, Delmar, NY--wetlands and terrestrial/aquatic resources; Eugene J. Boesch, PhD., Mahopac, NY--archaeological and historic resources; Creighton Manning Engineers, Albany, NY--traffic and transportation, air and noise resources; Brinnier and Larios Engineers, Kingston, NY--utilities and stormwater treatment. Shuster Associates will undertake the review of issues related to land use and zoning, visual and aesthetic resources, community services, demographics and housing, and will coordinate the work of the team. These consultant services will supposedly not cost the Town of Hurley anything. The developer has set up an escrow account with the Town for that purpose. Posted by Virginia

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