By RACHEL COLEMAN
“[I’m] not sure the board can approve three potential warehouses, each with two bays,” said Richard Hoyt, attorney for the Town of Montgomery Planning Board.
Last week the planning board held a continuation of the public hearing for the Red Birch project, to be located on the north side of Route 17K, approximately opposite Harmony Lane.
The applicant has proposed a flex space building divided into three units, each with two bays.
“The proposed building on Lot 2 is a speculative building, so there is no proposed end user,” said engineer Larry Marshall, representing the applicant. “The division of the interior spaces would be based upon once they were able to find tenants for the building.”
Planning Board member Cheri Zahakos questioned the number of bays and why they would need six bays (two for each business), when a business usually has just one.
“This was at the request of the applicant,” said Marshall, explaining that it was possible their end user could require two overhead doors. “We wanted to demonstrate to the board what could be there.”
“The thing that strikes me is that warehouses with more than two bays are not permitted in the B4,” said Hoyt.
Hoyt said the definition of flex space might affect the issue, but if three warehouses came in with six bays, it would violate the section of the town code that prohibits warehouses in B4 with more than two bays.
“So we’re seeing six and I think it’s all speculative, but the approval [has] to somehow address how could you possibly have a warehouse with up to six bays when the code limits to two?” said Hoyt.
Some may question why the project is even being discussed given the town’s moratorium, but Hoyt explained that the building is under the 40,000 square foot limitation of the moratorium.
“This is exempt from the moratorium even if it was entirely warehouse,” said Hoyt.
The public hearing was continued to Feb. 8 at 7:45 p.m. to provide the applicant time to work on the issue of the bays and for the board to review the plans and discuss the project at a work session.
The continuation of the public hearing for Zachary Pond was also held last Monday, where Chairman Fred Reichle read the determination of the town’s code enforcement officer that the applicant needs a special use permit.
The proposed two lot subdivision is located on Lotocke Drive (Browns Road) and the special use permit pertains to the applicant’s desire to use the existing house as a caretaker’s house.
As the current public hearing is only for the subdivision, Hoyt and Reichle said the applicant would need to apply for the permit and a notice would have to be done for a new public hearing. The applicant’s representative asked for an adjournment to respond to the letter from the code enforcement officer before a determination was made.
The board adjourned the public hearing to Feb. 8 at 7:30 p.m. to provide time for the applicant to discuss the determination with their attorney and file an application, as well as time to notice both the subdivision and the permit before the hearing on Feb. 8.
The board also addressed the application of Russin Factory Finishing, for a 20,000 square foot building on Bracken Road. The site would be a larger facility for their existing operation in Maybrook.
Engineer Tom Olley, representing the applicant, spoke to the board about waivers for trees and architectural renderings, which the board subsequently approved. The board also adopted a negative declaration as to SEQRA and approved the site plan and SEU permit with conditions.
The continuation of the public hearing for UNFI Phase II was also held last week. UNFI will be addressing noise concerns by bringing in an outside consultant to look at the “noise analysis” and working with the board’s consultant to study additional times and locations. The applicant completed a previous study in August.
The board agreed to continue the public hearing to Feb. 22 at 7:30 p.m.