CORNWALL – The Town of Cornwall Planning Board hosted a public scoping session at Cornwall Central High School on Monday, March 6 to hear comments from the public on the proposed multi-family development project called Biagini Woods.
The applicant, All Mine of Orange, Inc. wants to build 328 units in 17 buildings on 149 acres next to the Cornwall High School, which the project engineer, Ross Winglovits, from Engineering and Surveying Properties PC explained during a power point presentation before the public spoke.
The Planning Board has issued a positive declaration, meaning it believes the project will have an environmental impact. Several government authorities including the state Department of Environmental Conservation have been notified of the project to allow them to comment. According to plan documents there are wetlands and protected animals on the proposed property site.
Dominic Cordisco, the Planning Board Attorney, began the public portion of the meeting by reading an email into the record, that was received from the developer. It questioned if there was any conflict of interest of any board member, and if so, asked they recuse themselves.
One member of the board responded they were employed by the school district, but had no conflict of interest and would be impartial regarding the application.
Cordisco then stated that the purpose of the scoping session was to collect public comments and feedback on the proposed impacts due to the proposed project before them.
He said a second public hearing would be set once the environmental studies were done.
The developer would also need a special permit from the planning board.
With a full auditorium, the board listened as dozens of people spoke about the proposed project, which has been before the board since late last year.
The project would need access to public sewer from the Town of New Windsor Wastewater Treatment Plant. New Windsor Town Attorney David Zagon addressed this issue saying he had provided a written statement to the developer and the planning board regarding the access.
“I wrote your board a letter back in either November or December, when we received the draft Environmental Impact Statement. The Town of New Windsor has no intention of accepting any of their flow.”
Senator James Skoufis [D-Cornwall] spoke on the proposed project saying, “When you have a 328 unit proposal there needs to be greater scrutiny and of course there is a much larger, sizable impact on a community…there are two types of developers… bad neighbors … good neighbors. The bad developers try to come into a community, build whatever they can get away with, not care, about community input and concerns, and then get out with as much money as they can get away with. The good developers… before they even submit an application, they’re in the community talking with local residents in the area, talking with leaders in that community. Here’s what we’re thinking of doing, we want to hear from you first. And that obviously did not happen here. What we have here, is, I believe, a project, proposed by a bad developer. And the simple matter of fact is, you’ve got all sorts of issues.
For more than an hour the board heard from the public. Concerns were many, including: traffic, wastewater, water run-off, soil erosion, trees, wildlife, safety, lighting, noise, trash, trespassing, emergency response time, school over-crowding, and much more.
According to Cordisco, public written comments will be taken until March 16 via email and can be addressed to email@example.com. The next planning board work session is scheduled for March 16 and the next board meeting is scheduled for April 3.