Falcon Ridge is coming back

By Mark Reynolds
Posted 1/27/21

Building Department Director Dave Barton confirmed to the Town Board that the developer of the previously proposed Falcon Ridge residential project on the site of the former Altamont Farm off Upper …

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Falcon Ridge is coming back

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Building Department Director Dave Barton confirmed to the Town Board that the developer of the previously proposed Falcon Ridge residential project on the site of the former Altamont Farm off Upper North Road, will be returning for consideration in the near future.

Supervisor Fred Pizzuto said he had some preliminary discussions with the property developer, Dan Gueron of ABS Development Corporation, about constructing a wastewater facility on their site instead of the town’s preference of having him install a sewer pipe going south on Route 9W that would tie into the town’s system at Grand Street.

Councilman Joe Mazzetti pointed out that according to their land use attorney Paul Van Cott, the Town Board has the authority to stop an action by a developer if they believe that what is being proposed is not appropriate for the site.

Pizzuto said the board is not in favor of an onsite facility.

“Most of us don’t want [it] to go there so we may have a meeting next month with them in executive session and that will be up to [town attorney] Sean Murphy or we as a board do a resolution and talk about this on or before our [Feb. 3] workshop meeting,” he said.

Pizzuto did not return a phone call to explain how a meeting between the Town Board and the developer on sewer issues falls under the guidelines of an executive session.

The original 2011 architectural rendering for Falcon Ridge shows 67 - 100ft x 150ft single family lots; 205 - 55ft x 100ft single family lots with zero lot lines for an Active Adult Community and 60 - 120ft x 180ft single family lots. In addition the developer was planning to use some of the existing buildings along Upper North Road and would construct others for 2 commercial use buildings; 2 Research and Development buildings; 1 Industrial building; 4 two-story office buildings, 1 Clubhouse and 1 Community Center and a wastewater treatment plant.

Sidewalk Still Not Installed

Mazzetti again pressed attorney Sean Murphy on the status on securing funding from developer Keith Libolt to pay for a 260 foot sidewalk from the rail trail down along the Commercial Avenue extension. Libolt promised the town, in writing through his representative Patti Brooks, that he would pay for it upon receiving Planning Board approval to construct a 20 unit apartment complex, known as High Bridge Place. The town’s engineering/planning firm Barton Loguidice estimated the cost of the sidewalk at $26,000 and possibly more if curbs are added.

Murphy has asked for the Building Department to pull the High Bridge file so he could review it. Mazzetti said he continues to ask about this because the cost is significant and much higher than the $5,000 figure that Building Department Director Dave Barton stated at a previous Town Board meeting. Mazzetti said he does not want the town to find out they missed a statute of limitations deadline, leaving the public to pick up the tab. Murphy promised to follow up with this ongoing issue.

To date, the Town Board has not created an Affordable Housing Committee, despite having approved this several years ago. Supervisor Pizzuto said, “as we get into this year and maybe get a little breathing room, we’ll proceed with that.”

The board also stated that they will not require developers, who have finished projects, to now provide 10% of their total units as affordable by Ulster County standards, even though this is a requirement for a project receiving approval from the Planning Board.

The provisions of the Affordable Housing section of the code have been ignored by the Building Department and the Planning Board to the point where there are no designated affordable housing units that presently exist in the Town of Lloyd. The town’s land use attorney has previously advised the Town Board that they have the right to retroactively require developers to provide this type of housing.

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