Planning Board mulls subdivision, ‘recycled’ ag building

By Rob Sample
Posted 9/19/23

Members of the Town of Marlborough Planning Board spent much of their first meeting for September examining applications for a four-lot subdivision on Orange Street and a plan to repurpose an …

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Planning Board mulls subdivision, ‘recycled’ ag building


Members of the Town of Marlborough Planning Board spent much of their first meeting for September examining applications for a four-lot subdivision on Orange Street and a plan to repurpose an agricultural structure on rural Idlewild Road. The meeting took place Tuesday, September 5 at Town Hall.

The applicant for the four-lot subdivision was Marlboro resident Deborah Jones. There is one current residence on the parcel that she proposes to subdivide. Although the other three are zoned for one single-family house each, it was unclear after the hearing whether the applicant intends to build any additional homes.

Jones’ subdivision plan calls for Orange Street to be lengthened slightly to accommodate the driveways for the additional lots. “The proposed Town road extension at Orange Street must comply with town road specifications 134-16E,” noted Pat Hines, principal of MHE Engineering of New Windsor, “requiring a circular turn-around with a minimum right-of-way radius of 66 feet.”

Hines is consulting engineer for the town and his comments came in a detailed letter to the board outlining a variety of concerns. Two other concerns were raised by Jones at the meeting: the town’s requirements for curbing and sidewalks on residential streets.

“It [the extension] would come off a road that doesn’t now have sidewalks, with houses that have rather shallow front yards,” she noted.

“Sidewalks are required all C1, C2 and R zones,” noted Town Attorney Meghan Clemente, with “R” zones designating residential subdivisions. Clemente added that the Planning Board has the option to require sidewalks on one side of a street, the other side or on both sides.

The subdivision plan also calls for the extension of Orange Street to incorporate sewer and water main extensions. However, Hines’ letter noted that Jones and her engineer – Feeney Engineering of Newburgh – need to confirm that the proposed lots would fall within the existing sewer and water districts.

The other application under consideration – located at 131 Idlewild Road – is considerably simpler than the first. Cortland Drive resident Chris Staffon seeks to convert an unused agricultural storage building at the site in a process known as building recycling. It will instead become a warehouse for his family’s firm, General Traffic Equipment of Newburgh.

“The building used to store apples and other fruits,” said Staffon, who is vice president of marketing for the company. “It will be used as a remote warehouse for the storage of cardboard packaging materials, which we use to ship equipment to our customers.”

The 6,000 square-foot building that is being converted is fewer than 10 years old. Accordingly, in June the Marlborough Zoning Board of Appeals issued a variance enabling this change to take place earlier than that 10-year limit – which is usually required for recycled agricultural buildings.

Staffon and surveyor Patricia Brooks, of Control Point Associates, Highland, attended the September 5 meeting to discuss their proposal with the Planning Board. Several board members noted that nearby homeowners have questioned whether the repurposed warehouse will see a lot of truck traffic, particularly at night.

“They’re all driven by me, and we expect to make deliveries to the warehouse just one day per week,” said Staffon.

The Board also tackled the question of access to the building via two existing gravel roadways. Staffon and Brooks agreed to narrow the entrances, to permit just one way traffic and to post “do not enter signs” on the side intended to be the exit.

The Board ultimately moved to draft a letter of approval for the application.