As most of you well know by now, I am one of many Marlboro residents who strongly oppose the Bayside Development Project. I am here again urging the members of the Marlborough Town Board to not vote in favor of, or allow, any zone changes for the Bayside proposal or further endorse this project in any manner. It is the contention of the residents on Purdy Avenue our property values and quality of life would be adversely affected should this proposal go forward. The residents and taxpayers of this community chose our respective homes and businesses with the current zoning regulations in mind. Allowing individual developers to circumspect the current regulations negate the intention of the allowable uses of the property adjacent to the residents who have lived here for years, or in several cases, multiple generations. Furthermore, it may preclude future residents or businesses to come to Marlboro knowing such changes could be made I have reviewed the DEIS in its entirety and would like to draw attention to several areas I feel are either incomplete, inaccurate, or misleading. I am urging the members of Marlborough Town Board to carefully take into consideration the many adverse effects this project will have on those residents who currently live next to this proposed project, as well as those living elsewhere in the town.
First and foremost, the Developers have never adequately addressed the land ownership issue and right of way maintained by Mr. Harry Lyons, a
longtime Marlboro resident and taxpayer. On page III.K-1 of the DEIS, the developer does acknowledge the deeded right to the water supply, but not the legal right of way legally held and maintained by the Lyons family. “An historic deed dated back to previous owner for the project site references an existing spring located on site with water supply rights granted to an adjacent landowner and its heirs.” The mitigation measures on page II.K-3 of the DEIS are consistent with this builder’s reputation; insulting and unscrupulous. “Provisions for the deeded water rights mentioned above will be made on site via an outside tap, located at the clubhouse.” I say no. Who will buy these townhouses? The Ulster County Resource Web Page tells us the number of new building permits issued for the Town of Marlborough has fallen sharply from a high of 97 permits issued in 2006, down to just 15 permits issued in 2010. The reason? No one is buying. A search on Zillow shows there were 122 homes for sale in Marlboro as of 12/5/2011, and that the median home price has fallen close to 10%. One needs only to drive around town to confirm the large number of homes currently for sale or being foreclosed upon. Large scale housing projects such as Bayside will further saturate and already soaking wet market and drive existing home prices down even further. Appendix L of the DEIS [Sales and Marketing Overview, On Site Sales and Marketing, LLC] further confirms this. “Marlboro on Hudson, a proposed 36 unit townhome went on sale for $279,900. They sold 12 units, never built the promised swimming pool, and are currently off sale.” Although these figures may have changed slightly since this letter was written, the project was never built to fruition and/or according to plan. As for alternatives to the current proposal, On Site
Sales and Marketing dismisses both the Adult Townhomes as well as the large scale, four and five bedroom, single family homes proposed in the DEIS, saying, “there is no call for homes of this size.” They go on to say homes like these have not been built or sold for over 10 years in Marlboro. The other alternative proposed in the DEIS, that of a large mulit-unit, Active Adult Townhomes was also dismissed. “Our recommendation is to eliminate this product type from consideration.” Bayside did not provide adequate time or resources researching viable alternatives which would fit with the zoning and character of the pre-existing community. In fact, on page V-14, they state in a footnote, “Adult, multiple dwelling alternate not studied due to unmarketable product.” In other words, neither alternatives would be as profitable as asking the town and residents to make multiple concessions in order that they may receive the largest return on their investment regardless of the impacts. The project is requesting a zoning change and quotes the Town of Marlboro Comprehensive Plan and Ulster County Planning recommendations to move from the hamlet out and utilize areas where town water and sewer districts exist. However, only 1.72 acres of the proposal lie in the existing sewer district. Section III.K-3 of the DEIS states the town of Marlboro’s Wastewater Treatment Facility is currently rated for 175,000 gallons per day. Table III.K-3 states Bayside’s daily maximum sewage output could reach 25,500 gallons per day, for a total of 160,500 combined gallons per day for the plant to treat. Appendix P [Engineering Report of Capacity and Performance Evaluation at Marlboro Wastewater Treatment Facility] includes data reporting Marlboro’s output was as high as 145,670 gallons
per day in 2005, bringing the total combined output closer to 172,000 gallons per day. This, when examined together with the anticipated Dockside Project, will bring the Sewer Plant well beyond its current capacity. Appendix O includes a Serviceability Response Letter from Wastewater Superintendent Anthony Falco who stated, “In my opinion, the 27 year old wastewater plant will need to have some upgrade before handling this described additional hydrolic and organic loading.” Falco goes on to state, “I would not recommend that the town expand the system at this time to accommodate any project of this magnitude without upgrade to the facility.” The DEIS vaguely states in Section III.K-6, “Alternatives include a new sewer plant or sewer district nearby.” Where will this facility be located? Who will be responsible for its maintenance? And more importantly, who will foot the bill are questions left unanswered. I say no. This, or any other project, should ensure they fit community standards and the quality of life presently enjoyed by the residents there before moving forward. The DEIS states in Section III.F-9, “Future noise generation along Purdy Ave., as well as the majority of the project.. will be residential in nature and thus consistent with the surrounding properties.” The project’s application also calls for an exemption from currently established lot line ordinances and setbacks and seeks zero foot setbacks for the proposal on page II-39. I say no. Allowing the zoning change will significantly alter the number of homes and their density, along Purdy Ave. in particular, which is most certainly inconsistent with the existing surrounding properties. The DEIS further states on page II-21, “Rather than seclude these units from the existing residential nature of the street, there are design elements that
insinuate these units would be accessed from Purdy Ave., in a manner similar to the existing houses along the street.â€? The residents here do not want the slightest insinuation these units would be accessed from Purdy Ave. These insinuations could lead to realities. These proposed zoning density and set back changes would severely alter the existing residential consistency currently found on Purdy Ave., and elsewhere in the existing R1 Zoning District, where the majority of this proposal lies. According to a recent study published [autospies.com], the national average of vehicles per household is 2.28, or a total of 230 additional vehicles within the Bayside Project alone. This number is a far cry from the estimated additional traffic predicted in Table III.E-1 of the DEIS which conjectures peak AM Vehicle Entry at 40 vehicles, AM Exits at 62, Peak PM Entries at 96 vehicles and PM Exits at 76 at the entrance of the proposed development. These numbers taken at face value would mean over 100 additional vehicles, at minimum, traveling at times when and where school aged children are traveling to and from school. This same table shows Purdy Ave., which has 20 homes, at similar ratios. However, Purdy does not include the proposed retail space associated with the Bayside proposal. Where are these vehicles accounted for? Furthermore, their projections for 2015 9W Traffic Trip Numbers in Table III.F-3A surmise a total of 1,649 vehicles in the AM and 1,718 vehicles in the PM if the proposal is not built and 1,682 vehicles in the AM, but surprisingly, only 870 vehicles in the PM if the proposal is built. Is the developer claiming the Bayside Project will decrease the number of vehicles on 9W by a projected 848 vehicles in the future? I say no.
The Bayside DEIS claims this project, in its entirety, will bring an additional 216 residents to Marlboro, 88 of which will be attending Marlboro Schools. However, there are discrepancies between the Marlboro and Dockside DEIS numbers. [Dockside’s DEIS claims a lower figure of only 53 students for the Bayside Project.] In comparison, Purdy Ave., which has only 20 homes, currently sends 21 children to school each day. Section III.J-6 also states, “with the addition of the projected Dockside students, it is possible that there will be capacity issues at the [Marlboro] Intermediate and High School.” I think it would be more accurate to say there will most definitely be problems with capacity, particularly with the newly built housing along 9W in Middle Hope. The recent bankruptcy protection filed by Dynegy, combined with the influx of these new students, could be disastrous and will certainly mean even higher school taxes for Marlboro residents. I say no. The DEIS lacks any specific language indicating these units will be owner occupied for any length of time. The DEIS also does not include specific language referencing the number of allowable tenants for each unit, a provision which could help keep Bayside’s numbers more in line with the residency numbers currently found in areas immediately adjacent to the Bayside project; both of which were requested by residents and some Town Board Members. Should Bayside be built, I believe these types of regulations should be required and strictly enforced. Finally, the DEIS lists numerous, irreversible impacts on page II.C-16 including increased access to sensitive habitats, the loss of wetlands, the
loss of vegetated rock outcrops, the loss of forested uplands and the destruction of both flora and fauna habitats. However, I feel these pale in comparison to the destructive impact allowing a proven unethical developer to build here would have on our community, our families, and the future prosperity of Marlboro. In closing, I would like to thank the members of Marlborough Town Board and the Supervisor for listening to the concerns of their voting constituents and allowing us to continue to participate in the crucial decisions our community and its residents are faced with now and in the future. Sincerely, Chris Brand Purdy Avenue Resident Taxpayer Voting Constituent
Published on Dec 15, 2011