Two items related to the Luther Forest Technology Campus (LFTC) were on the Malta planning board’s agenda this week. While about 50 people packed the meeting room in town hall to hear the presentations by Mike Ingersol of the LA Group, representing LFTC, less than a dozen offered comment or asked questions during the two public hearings held to discuss the residential component and subdivisions of several properties along the proposed Stonebreak Road corridor included in the planned unit development district for the LFTC.
It is pretty much an extension of what exists there, said Ingersol of the 36-lot design that will connect Plumb Poppy North with Plumb Poppy South. The roads, which have always been dead ends, will meet at a perpendicular angle to one another with a horseshoe-shaped road beginning at that intersection and connecting back to Plumb Poppy South. A cul-de-sac is also planned off of Plumb Poppy South.
Ingersol noted that a developer for the proposed layout has not been found but it will be the developer who will appear before the planning board for final site plan approval, several months from now. He fielded questions from area residents who expressed concerns about the storm water management system and emergency vehicle access, but by far the largest concern was the amount of traffic that would be going through the neighborhood during the construction phase.
`Infrastructure and road construction, all that activity would go through NYSERDA,` said Ingersol, noting that there will be a point of access through NYSERDA property directly to the new development area so as to avoid excessive construction traffic. After construction is completed, Ingersol said that area would be deeded to the town for trail use. Residents said their concern is not just about the extra large construction vehicles rumbling through the neighborhood but vehicles belonging to construction workers or builders who would `race through the neighborhood.` Ingersol said stop signs would be permanently placed along the new roadways, particularly at the intersection of the cul-de-sac and the intersection of the Plumb Poppy roads.
The planning board unanimously gave the project pre-liminary approval but attached a number of conditions to that approval. The board asked the developer to make sure the new roadway would be consistent with the existing roads by being 26 feet in width. They also asked that the storm water management plan be reviewed by Malta Highway Superintendent Tom Adriance. Other conditions include seeking the input of the Round Lake Fire Department regarding the radius of the cul-de-sac and how that would impact their ladder truck’s ability to maneuver in there. A construction access and construction management plan must be submitted that details signage, hours of operation, and other details.
Additionally, the board asked that Ingersol bring back a letter from the state Department of Environmental Conservation confirming that all lands in the residential area are no longer affected by the Fisher Act. Ingersol will also be required to identify areas of encroachment on their property and submit plans for their resolution. Ingersol said there are four or five cases of adjacent property owners who are encroaching on the LFTC property. Several have built sheds, one owner has a pool that sits too close to the property line, and others are just mowing areas that belong to LFTC.
The board also recommended changing the setbacks listed in the PDD legislation. They suggest using a 35-foot setback for homes and a 45-foot setback for garages. The setback issue will ultimately be the town board’s decision to make as it is the only entity that can change or amend PDD legislation which calls for 50-foot front yard setbacks, 15-foot side setbacks, and a rear setback of 30 feet. .
Ingersol began his second presentation by telling the crowd, `I’m not here to talk about roads or power lines.`
Tuesday’s presentation on the Stonebreak Road Corridor and subsequent public hearing was strictly related to the LFTC’s desire to subdivide several pieces of property so that they make take ownership and utilize most of the pieces for the construction of the Stonebreak Road access road as well as provide easements for utilities.
Ingersol explained the proposed subdivision involved a purchase of property currently owned by the Mackey family which has Route 9 access, two pieces of property owned by the Bailey family, two other Mackey parcels which are currently vacant, as well as the back portion of Spa Steel.
Most of the property will be utilized for the purpose of road construction and placement of power lines, however the property adjacent to Route 9, a strip between Stonebreak Road and 84 Lumber, will allow for easements of sewer and power. Some of the other Mackey parcels will be utilized for the road and infrastructure, but the bulk of it will likely be conveyed to another party, said Ingersol, while a portion will have an easement allowing for multi-use trail access.
Those vacant parcels are adjacent to lands currently owned by the Bailey family and while Ingersol indicated his clients were looking for a buyer, planning board members inferred that the land would be conveyed to the Bailey’s. Ingersol said in his presentation, when asked by board members, that the existing Bailey property would continue to have access to the Stonebreak Road Extension.
The changes Ingersol is seeking from the Spa Steel property will require Spa Steel to provide an amended site plan which will include a new storm water management system. The existing system will be displaced by the construction of Stonebreak Road Extension. Ingersol said the new storm water management system will be placed on an adjacent parcel.
While the board was agreeable to the plan as proposed and did provide preliminary approval, it asked Ingersol to review the linkage study, which discusses an access road running parallel to Route 9 connecting from 84 Lumber through the currently owned Mackey parcel connecting with Stonebreak Road. Ingersol agreed to review the study and address it before the final approval is granted but noted he had not been aware of the linkage study and as such it was not factored in when previous traffic studies were done and roadway designs drawn up.
A number of Woodfield Estates residents showed up in hopes of talking about the power lines and road layout and the impact those things will have on them. Ingersol stated that the site plan review for those things will likely be on the agenda for next month’s planning board meetings.“