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The original item was published from 1/10/2020 5:04:45 PM to 1/18/2020 12:00:01 AM.

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News & Town Board Reports (gblist)

Posted on: January 10, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Message from Planning Bd chair: Planning Board Site Visit

RE: Maplewood Swim Club Assisted Living Proposal

Message from Planning Board Chairperson Walter Simon

It appears from social media that there is a great deal of community interest in attending the upcoming site visit at the Maplewood Swim club. The Planning Board is pleased there is such interest and encourages the public to attend. The Planning Board site visit is scheduled for 11:00am Saturday, January 11th at the Maplewood Swim club related to the proposal for an Assisted Living Facility at the site.

I would like to make interested parties aware of the Planning Board noticed site visit procedures. The purpose of the site visit is for Planning Board members and others in attendance to gain a better on-site understanding of the proposed features associated with a project. These features can include the location of the proposed building, stormwater features, the driveways and parking areas, limits of tree removals, etc. The Planning Board has found that meeting collectively as a Board on-site is an efficient and helpful way to understand how the proposed site features are situated in relation to property lines, neighboring properties and the surrounding area. The Board also feels that visit are very helpful for neighbors and residents in attendance. Following opening remarks from the Planning Board reiterating these procedures, the applicant will identify the various site features proposed and lead Board members and the public to the best vantage points of these features.

From a procedural standpoint, it is very important that there is a clear understanding of the singular purpose of this site visit. It is not a meeting that functions as a public discussion with back and forth between Planning Board members and the public, or the public and the applicant. Planning Board members themselves will only ask factual questions about site feature locations or specific operational questions regarding the proposal if there is not clarity. If Planning Board members have ideas about an aspect of the proposal that can be improved, as an example, these type of comments will not be made by Board members to the applicant at the site visit. Such commentary will be individually noted and conveyed at a subsequent regular public meeting of the Planning Board at Town Hall.

While the Planning Board strongly values public input, from a legal and procedural perspective, public questions, opinions or other commentary will be accepted at a subsequent Planning Board public discussion which will be a component of an upcoming Planning Board regular meeting held on a first or third Wednesday evening in the Town Hall auditorium. The date of this future public discussion, which will be specific to the Hartsdale Assisted Living Facility proposal, will be conveyed to residents in a variety of ways including: a direct mailing to residents within 500 ft. of the site, notice placed in the Journal News, a copy of the notice will be placed in the Town Clerk bulletin Board, Town Supervisor Paul Feiner’s G-list, notice on the Town Website and posted on a sign on the property. The date has not yet been selected but is anticipated to take place in February or March. In terms of public input, the Town Board, as Lead Agency, will also hold its own public hearing at a date in the future, following the Planning Board’s recommendation on the special permit and site plan applications. The Zoning Board of Appeals will also hold its own public hearing on an area variance application at a noticed date in the future. So, there will be multiple opportunities for public comment and to provide the Planning, Zoning, and Town Boards with your thoughts throughout this process.

There were also a few misconceptions about this project on social media. This project is not the subject of a floating zone application or process. The Maplewood site is located in a residential zone where, currently under the Zoning Ordinance, an Assisted Living Facility is allowed by special permit, provided the application meets all the requirements of the special permit, satisfies any issues raised under SEQRA, and the Zoning Board considers any variances being requested. This is a very detailed process, requiring the collection of a great deal of information (all of which is available on the Town Website, and includes significant opportunities for public input.

Lastly, there were comments about the traffic study implying that the Town Board, Planning Board, and Zoning Board will accept the traffic study without any input. This is not the case whatsoever. The Town has already engaged its own traffic consultant to gauge the impact of this project on traffic, and is well aware of the traffic issues on West Hartsdale Avenue and at the Hartsdale 4 corners. The Town and its traffic consultant understand that the impact of any other anticipated developments in the area, including the redevelopment of 4 corners, must be considered.

Again, community involvement in this process is not only appreciated, but encouraged. However, to make this a successful process for all, it is important that the community understands how the process works. I hope to see you this Saturday.

Cooperation from all in attendance to the procedures outlined above is greatly appreciated and will best contribute to all having a better understanding of the proposal.

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