Water drainage and sidewalks were the main discussion during an update from the Meadowbrook developers during the Wednesday, April 9, Bethlehem Town Board meeting.
The plan calls for single-family homes to be built on a 66-acre property near Blessing Road and Route 85, keeping about 25 acres of land as undeveloped green space. Spectra Engineering, Architecture and Surveying President John H. Shafer gave a public presentation to Town Board members and said it is a project that has been in the works for some time.
It really started in 1984, so it probably transcends several Town Boards and Planning Boards, Shafer said of the Meadowbrooks development. `What is being proposed is 48 single-family lots, fairly small lots, with the smallest being about a quarter acre.`
Shafer said that the topography varies greatly near the Normanskill, with the elevation around 108 feet at the bottom of the development site and rising up to 148 feet at the top of a hill on the site.
`That’s a 40-foot rise to the top of the hill,` Shafer said.
The nearby Bethlehem sewage pump station will be able to handle the extra flow created by the development, Shafer said, and the lots will be served by underground utilities and two 40-inch culvert pipes will serve for water and wastewater services.
The project will be constructed in five phases, according to Shafer, because Spectra’s permits only allow them to disturb five acres at a time. The first phase will include 13 lots built along the property’s entrance, which will have built-in temporary shut-offs for water and sewer.
`There will be a considerable amount of earth work,` he said.
Supervisor Jack Cunningham asked Shafer about possible landslides along the banks of Normanskill as a result of the development’s excavating.
`There was a very extensive geotech study done for this project,` Shafer responded. `The concept is to keep the water saturation content low to prevent a slide.`
Shafer said drainage pipes would be set underground along the banks of the Normanskill in order to keep the water table in the ground as low as possible. There are also plans to install two arched culvert pipes that are 36 inches high and three feet wide that cross the road that will serve both as drainage and a crossway for small animals, according to Shafer, as well as a large pond basin to catch excess runoff included on the site.
`So animals, if they feel comfortable and wanted to, can cross the road safely,` Shafer said about the pipes running under the roadway.
Councilman Sam Messina asked Shafer if the pipes would be large enough for children to crawl into, citing a possible risk. Shafer responded that children could possibly climb into the pipes, but that they were standard sizes used in developments throughout the area.
Sidewalks were also brought up, with one resident questioning Shafer on what the plans called for, but a map including sidewalks for the project has yet to be completed and was not available at the meeting.
`The desire would be to get a sidewalk down Blessing Road down to the roundabout, where there’s a pedestrian bridge that crosses the Normanskill,` Cunningham said. `Eventually, you should be able to walk down to the Gold Key [restaurant] and even Price Chopper.“