Town of Newburgh waives public hearing for BJ’s Wholesale Club

By Lina Wu
Posted 1/15/20

The Town of Newburgh Planning Board voted to waive a public hearing for BJ’s Wholesale Club at last Thursday’s Planning Board meeting.

At the beginning of the meeting the planning …

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Town of Newburgh waives public hearing for BJ’s Wholesale Club

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The Town of Newburgh Planning Board voted to waive a public hearing for BJ’s Wholesale Club at last Thursday’s Planning Board meeting.

At the beginning of the meeting the planning board named their 2020 appointments to the board. Kenneth Mennerich has been appointed as the vice chair of the board. Domic Cordisco has been appointed as the board’s attorney. Pat Hines was appointed as the board’s engineer. Karen Arent was appointed as the landscape architect. Kenneth Wersted was appointed as the traffic consultant. Michael Musso was appointed as the telecommunications consultant.

BJ’s was first brought into the public eye back in September. The business will be located on route 17k. BJ’s came to Thursday’s meeting with a new application for an amended site approval. The focus of the meeting is its amended site plan. BJ’s is the seventh application that was submitted to the board in 2019. The presentation was led by Andrew Fetherstone of Maser Consulting.

In the initial site plan, questions were raised about the location of a traffic signal at the main entrance. After recommendations from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), the traffic signal was removed from the site plan.

BJ’s received a conceptual approval letter from the DOT. The amended site plan includes different routes that vehicles can take to enter the site.

“We are here seeking amended site plan approval,” said Fetherstone. “We have comments from your consultants. We have some modifications, revisions to put on the plan. We’d like to do that and then move forward.”

Wersted attended the meeting with BJ’s and the DOT. According to Wersted, after the meeting BJ’s submitted their plan to the board’s consultants with the DOT’s suggestions. The consultants still have minor comments but those will be addressed easily.

According to Hines, the plan has conditional site approval. One of the conditions has to do with the DOT’s concept approval. The board would be amending the initial approval because the site plan hasn’t been finalized.

“You [the board] have previously issued a negative declaration for the project,” said Hines. “You will need to reevaluate it based off of the modifications of the plan.” The plan needs to be submitted to the Orange County Planning Department because it is located on the state highway.

BJ’s will return at a later date for approval of its signage plan. The comprehensive signage plan was not submitted with the original application.

Board members mutually agreed to waive the public hearing.

“I believe we’re in a position to waive the public hearing,” said Board member Frank S. Galli. “The reason being it’s in a commercial zone of the Town of Newburgh.” Galli mentioned that the project would be surrounded by numerous commercial buildings. “I don’t feel a public hearing is needed at this time because of the zone that it’s in.”

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