Two proposed projects at the Lloyd Planning Board meeting on Thursday could help make the town more environmentally friendly.
Sam Wilkinson of Solar Generation, hired by Selux Corporations, discussed details with the board about the construction of solar panels at 5 Lumen Lane in Highland. The panels will be a ground-mounted fixed panel system tilted at a 30 degree angle facing south, coming up to about 12-14 feet.
One of the concerns from board member Lambros Violaris was the possibility of the panels reflecting sunlight into drivers eyes. Wilkinson quickly put that concern to rest by explaining that when the solar panels are working they don’t reflect sunlight, and if they break then the chances of people seeing them are low, they will be naturally screened from route 9W with no penetration to the road.
The board needs more paperwork from Wilkinson, including a pathfinder report, before any more decisions can be made on the matter.
The second green proposal, which has been being discussed since March, is the opening of an EZ Bottle and Can Returns on South Roberts Road. Ridespreet Singh owns and operates several other can redemption businesses in the Hudson Valley.
The community would be able to come in seven days a week and drop off bottles and cans, which are hand-counted, and then they receive 5 cents per can or bottle. Pickup would be three times a week using a 48 foot truck. The building Singh wants to use is already constructed so no new builds would have to occur.
At Thursday’s meeting Singh was not present. The board discussed creating a clause that changes the pickup time from 7 a.m. to after 9 a.m. as to not disturb the neighborhood around the building. Sal Cuciti proposed eliminating Sunday hours, to which the rest of the board agreed with.
The last, and largest, concern for the EZ Returns was the truck having to go around a cul de sac to exit the neighborhood, which could be dangerous for the children that often ride their bikes there. All members were in agreement that the truck would have to figure out a way to back into the neighborhood, as to not to use the roundabout, or utilize a smaller truck that allows the driver to make a three-point turn out of the neighborhood.
The final project proposed at Thursday night’s meeting was “The Views at Highland” a mixed-use building on 9W that includes 44 apartments on the second floor, with the lower floor being used for offices and commercial businesses. The building will have 117 parking spots in the back and two entrances, with no commercial vehicle access.
The board had a lot of concerns about this project. One of the issues they were foreseeing was traffic, especially because there are three other proposed commercial projects going on in that area. With such a large building, and it being commercial and residence, they’re anticipating a lot of traffic on the roads leading up to the building.
Since the building will be right on a main highway for many people, the board doesn’t see how anyone would be able to make a left into the building or make a left out of the building. They don’t anticipate that traffic will break up enough to allow that and so traffic will back up even more with people waiting to make left turns. During this discussion people in the audience nodded in agreement.
The last issue with the proposal was, if there are 44 apartments and only 117 parking spots, then they expect the apartments will take up 88 of the spots, leaving almost none for offices and stores.
The proposal needs a lot more work done before a public hearing can be made or any decisions can be made by the board.