Just when it seemed that things were about to quiet down somewhat in Mamakating, what with the decisiveness of last month's electoral upsets and all the news out of Bloomingburg (see more on that inside), two pending issues on the town's planning board agenda promise to draw huge crowds over the coming months, starting next Tuesday, December 10.
That's when Shalom Lamm, developer of the Village at Chestnut Ridge townhouse development on Winterton Road in Bloomingburg, comes back before the board with his equally controversial Seven Peaks luxury home development on the Shawangunk Ridge within the Basha Kill watershed. And former Mamakating supervisor and local developer Duane Roe, who's been in the news of late because of the Lamm development in his home community of Bloomingburg, will present his own plans for a senior housing development and commercial center off Roosa Gap Road near Route 17's exit 115.
Both meetings were originally scheduled for November 26 but were postponed because of bad weather.
Listed as item 9 on the unchanged agenda, "Seven Peaks at Mountain Road Major Subdivision FEIS Review Submission," the Lamm project's review will consider the proposed development's placement in the town's Ridge & Valley Protection Zone, its Neighborhood Residential Zone as well as the Winterton Residential Zone... the latter indicating the project's relative closeness to the developer's other major building developments in the Bloomingburg area.
Seven Peaks involves the development of 653 acres on the Shawangunk Ridge, approximately 4,000 feet east of the Basha Kill Wildlife Management Area and a final environmental impact statement that addresses concerns raised when an earlier draft EIS was submitted in 2010. A 125-room hotel has been eliminated from the proposal; the project was last reported to be envisioning 49 luxury homes on lots of at least five acres each, and other smaller housing units to go up in a later phase.
The Basha Kill Area Association has stated that its preference would be for no development on the ridgeline... given that it's part of a greenway corridor that's been the dream of many for years, now nearing completion.
The Roe items on Tuesday's planning board agenda, at numbers 7 and 8, are for "Lands of Burlingham Woods, LLC (New) Commercial Site Plan & 2 Lot Subdivision" and a "Burlingham Woods Major Subdivision." The former is a convenience store complex next to the busy highway soon to become I-86, while the latter seems to be the multi-family dwelling complex for seniors referred to at a planning board meeting in 2012 as the "Whispering Pines" adult community, to consist of a 2-story H-shaped building comprising 48 one- or two-bedroom units with separate recreation facilities.
Originally, Roe wanted a gas station and convenience store, plus a nearby site for contractor's yards and the like, for both properties... and went to the Mamakating town board to suggest zoning changes to allow what he wanted. After all, he had worked on the original zoning law in effect, back in 2000. At first things moved well in his direction. Then protests started to build over his plans, as well as what Lamm was building... and Roe's early ties to the new developer in town.
In recent weeks, Roe has gone on the record to separate himself from the man who had once hired him as a front person... then sued him for breach of contract. He's even denigrated the Winterton Road development, which many are saying will become an Hasidic community in the coming months, as being a ruse, and nothing near his original ideal of a golf community, or his push to get Lamm to build a new wastewater treatment facility for the Village of Bloomingburg.
Lamm, for his part, has long defended his rights as a developer, his penchant for working above board despite accusations to the contrary, and the economic and environmental feasibility of his plans, which also include development of the Wurtsboro Airport and several other projects throughout the region.
The meeting starts at 7 p.m. at town hall on Route 209. We'll let you know what happens.