Another warehouse project in the Town of Montgomery means more opposition from nearby residents and more complaints for the town’s planning board.
That board held a public scoping session last week for the proposed Neelytown Business Park Warehouse Distribution Facility.
The project is a proposed 664,200 SF warehouse distribution facility and separate 214,000 SF and 250,070 warehouse distribution facilities with attendant parking, utilities and stormwater management facilities on seven existing tax parcels consisting of approximately 111.47 acres at 296 Neelytown Road and Beaver Dam Road. The project has recently been amended to add the proposed 250,070 SF warehouse distribution facility and five additional tax parcels.
Previously, in September 2021, the Planning Board ruled that the two original warehouse distribution facilities may have potentially significant adverse environmental impacts and that a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) must be prepared. Subsequently, after conducting scoping and considering agency and public input, in October 2021 the Planning Board adopted a Final Scope for a DEIS with respect to the original proposal. Based on the amended project, an Amended Draft Scope has been prepared to include SEQRA review in the DEIS of the additional warehouse distribution facility and tax parcels.
The purpose of last week’s scoping session, according to a public notice, is to discuss the potential significant adverse environmental impacts which must be evaluated in the DEIS. At the session, residents voiced often-heard concerns: noise, speeding trucks on Beaver Dam Road and unsightly warehouses popping up.
“I get up in the morning, I don’t see the sun,” said Tom Weber of Beaver Dam Road. “I see a warehouse.”
Weber said the developers, RDM Group, had originally promised to buy all of the homes in that portion of Beaver Dam Road.
At a prior planning board meeting, a RDM representative had told the planning board that RDH was able to acquire additional residential lots along the east side of Beaver Dam Road, along with a couple of properties along Neelytown Road to enable the expansion of a third building, for a total of more than 1.1 million square feet of warehouse space.
Last year, the project received a waiver from the moratorium that was in effect at the time, while the town updated its comprehensive plan.
“All of a sudden, there’s a third warehouse popping up,” said Don Berger of the Village of Montgomery. “The whole thing stinks.”
Several residents also voiced concern over the potential impact of the project on the nearby Beaverdam Brook Aquifer- which feed the wellfields of the Valley Central High School and Middle School and include other important resources of meadows, forests, wetlands, streams and floodplains. Earlier this year, the Town of Montgomery Conservation Advisory Council designated the area as one of two Critical Environmental Areas (CEA) in the town. The town board held a public hearing on the proposal, but has not otherwise acted on it.
“Just because the CEA is in limbo doesn’t mean the conditions that the CEA was proposed to protect aren’t there,” said Town of Montgomery Historical Mary Ellen Matise. “The aquifer is there.”
Wendy Malley Stokes, another Beaver Dam Road resident, read a lengthy letter that was originally addressed to the town board last November.
“Where we live, we can see FedEx lights,” Stokes said. “It’s horrible as it is.”
The planning board is expected to adopt the scope, pending receipt of final documents from the applicant. Planning Board Chairman Fred Reichle said a public hearing on the entire project would be held at a later date.