Surveyor Patti Brooks and several consultants, returned to the Lloyd Planning Board last week to apprise them of specific major design changes and additions they have made to the Village In The Hudson Valley, a senior living project that has been proposed for the western side of Route 9W, opposite the Bridgeview Shopping Plaza.
Brooks said in the original application they proposed 127 beds in an Assisted Living Facility and 205 single-family independent living residences. The newly revised proposal has increased the Assisted Living Facility to 135 beds and expands the independent living residences to 212. She broke out the independent living section saying this will consist of 120 single-family cottage homes, five duplex town homes and 82 apartment units.
Brooks said the new design would allow for people in single cottages to move up to a multi-family apartment style living and, if and when needed, to transition to Assisted Living, in a multiple tier structure.
“That allowed us to cluster many of the houses together because one of the problems we’re struggling with in this application is the fact that the code requires that the enriched housing adult home and nursing care units shall not be less than 25% nor more than 60% of the total number of units. So with the 135 beds that we require in the Assisted Living, that actually would require between 225 and 540 independent living homes. We are up to 212 and we feel that is about as dense on the site as we want to go with the independent living. We are going to require a zoning variance for that.”
Brooks is seeking the Planning Board’s support on this point because, “we believe it is important that we work with the land.” Building Department Director Dave Barton pointed out that this project does not meet the number and the relief from the code but what they would be looking for, “is a negative number; that’s awesome, that’s great.”
Brooks told the Planning Board that as requested she went through the CCRC [Continuing Care Retirement Community] code to determine how they can be in compliance with these stipulations. She conceded there are some areas in this code that they will not be able to meet; specifically the minimum requirement that the Assisted Living building be 100 feet off of the front lot line. She pointed out, however, that the structure will be 125 feet from the shoulder line, “because Route 9W has an irregular highway taking line and it’s not 25 feet off the center line of the traveled way. We don’t meet the front yard setback but we more than meet the intent of, generally speaking, center-line road 25 feet than the 100 foot setback. We will require a variance for that.”
Brooks said she would like to have her project consultants meet with the town’s consultants to discuss any pertinent issues about this project. She said there is a requirement that all buildings must be separated by 25 feet or the height of the building itself. Her design presently has a 20 foot separation distance, “between the habitable living spaces, which is in accordance with New York State Building Code for the cottages.” Brooks said it seems the building height in the code may be intended for larger commercial structures for fire separation reasons, but if this is a strict stipulation that includes every single building, then they will also need a variance from this provision.
Brooks has submitted to the board a full set of 26 large maps of the project and a 231 page book of documents, acknowledging that this will likely take the Planning Board some time to fully review.
Brooks said the new multi-family buildings will be “tucked” into the back of the proposed development, making their roof peak elevations about even with the ones in the front of the project. She expects the project to be a Type I action, in part, because they will be disturbing more than 10 acres and hopes the Planning Board would be lead agency.
According to the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, “Type I actions meet or exceed thresholds listed in the statewide or agency SEQR [State Environmental Quality Review] regulations. These are likely to require preparation of an EIS [Environmental Impact Statement].
Brooks suggested that an informational meeting be scheduled so she can gather input on any concerns from the public about this project. After this she will meet with Central Hudson, the Department of Transportation, the Lloyd Planning Board Chairman and the Lloyd Zoning Code Officer before a project submission is sent to the Ulster County Planning Board for their review.
Planning Board Chairman Fred Pizzuto commented, “It’s a big pill to swallow to start.”
It was noted that a roadway to the west to connect with Vineyard Avenue was not possible from a topographical perspective and due to wetlands and floodplains in that area. Building Director Dave Barton said a traffic light is being considered for Mayer Drive that would be in sync with others from Chapel Hill on up to Milton Avenue to ease the traffic flow all along this portion of Route 9W.
Town Engineer Andrew Learn said the planned access points to the site may not meet provisions in the fire code due to their close proximity off Mayer Drive. “The state fire code has a calculation that drives how far apart the accesses are required to be for a development of this size,” he said. “I think we need to have some further discussion on how this project is going to satisfy this requirement.”
Barton also weighed in on this issue. “The code suggests that the fire official can require two points of access because if there is a major fire incident on the site and the buildings are close, [and] if there are two independent homes on fire together, this site will be littered with fire apparatus. So having another point of access is probably going to be wise. We need to think how that will be affected.”
Brooks said the owner of Phoenix Cable, on the project’s northern border, is not interested is providing another access point. She said the developer has purchased a lot at the end of Apple Lane that will allow for utility ingress and egress.
“We were not necessarily planning on putting an access there but we will certainly work with the municipality to make sure that we do whatever we need to, to address those concerns,” she said.
Planning Board member Larry Hammond pointed out that if the developer does not have a second access, the roads on the site form a “big cul-du-sac, which is too long [by the code].”
Brooks said their plan contains private interior roadways but Hammond pressed his point of there being only one access.
Learn added that the furthest roadway to the north is a potential problem because a fire there could choke off an entire section of homes.
Brooks said she may provide 3D images to the board to help them have a more detailed view of the overall project.
The board scheduled a public informational meeting at 6 p.m. on August 22 at the Highland Fire House, 25 Milton Avenue.