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GRANT LY0 S LLP

COUNSELORS AT LAW

12 January 2010
Mr. George Lewandowski, Chairman, and Members of the Board
Village of Saugerties Planning Board
Village Hall
43 Partition Street
Saugerties, New York 12477-1134
Re: Project Name: Partition Street Project
Applicant: Partition Street Project, LLC
Premises Location: Partition & Dock Streets, Village of Saugerties, New York

Dear Mr. Lewandowski and Members of the Board:


Grant & Lyons represents Saugerties Citizens for Smart Development (“CSD”), a group of
citizens concerned about the impacts of the Partition Street Project. This letter follows up their
Memorandum of Comment dated 08 December 2009. It also provides a response to the letter
dated 17 December 2009 submitted to you by Michael Moriello, Esq., the applicant’s attorney.

Mr. Moriello’s Letter Lacks Substantive Response to CSD’s Concerns


Mr. Moriello’s letter does not provide a substantive response to the very specific potential
adverse environmental impacts raised in the CSD Memorandum of Comment. Mr. Moriello
asserts generally that full consideration is being given to adverse environmental impacts. But
virtually no specifics are provided. For instance, the specific issues CSD raised about the
impacts on historic resources, scenic resources and community character are not addressed. I
remind you that the standard which the courts will apply to your Determination of Significance
would be whether you took a “hard look” at all of the significant adverse environmental impacts
of this proposed project, and whether all of those impacts have been mitigated to the
“maximum extent practicable,” as required by the State Environmental Quality Review Act
(“SEQRA”). So substantively, Mr. Monello’s letter does not respond to CSD’s issues.

The Closed Character of the SEQRA Review Thus Far


Mr. Moriello’s letter is an apt commentary on the environmental review process thus far.
Tellingly, he devotes most of his letter to arguments about how the technical time frames in
149 Wurtemburg Road jlyons@grantlyons.com One Rockefeller Plaza, Suite 2330
Rhinebeck, NewYork 12572 www.grandyons.com NewYork, NewYork 10020
845 876 2800 212 396 0991
GRANT LYONS LLP Page2of 6

12 January 2010
Mr. George Lewandowski, Chairman, and Members of the Board
Re: Partition Street Project
SEQRA can be used as a basis for you to legally ignore CSD’s comments. This continues the
applicant’s pattern of boxing-out public comment and pursuing a process which has been
virtually devoid of public participation. While pending for a year or so, the public has had only a
single evening to speak on the record about this application.
Mr. Moriello asserts that a full environmental review is being conducted. But if that is true, then
why didn’t the applicant encourage a Positive Declaration from the beginning?
The reason seems to be that the applicant wants the review done with virtually no participation
by the public. And so far that has been the case. Citizen concerns have been stifled by
Planning Board meetings which, although open to the public, do not allow the public an
opportunity to speak. any communities allow public comment at planning board meetings.
This is a matter of policy not law. Your Board could change its policy and allow the public
greater access to the process. Even when CSD members have asked to appear on the
Planning Board agenda, they have been told that only the applicant can be on the agenda.
And indeed, the applicant has spoken and made presentations often. Taken together, these
factors create the appearance that the applicant has far greater access to Planning Board
members than do the members of the public whose interests the Planning Board is supposed
to represent. The applicant’s documents are not easily found by the public. In a full
environmental review they would be easily accessible on the Internet. Neither does the public
receive any notice of the applicant’s submissions. Together, all these factors add up to a
process virtually closed to the public, something which is antithetical to the spirit of SEQRA.
This raises an important question. What is the applicant afraid of?
Stringency of Review:
Embrace the Standard Championed by Congressman Hinchey on Other Projects

And this raises another important question. Shouldn’t the same standard be applied to all
applicants?
Congressman Hinchey is an investor in this project. In 2006, along with Assemblyman Kevin
Cahill, Congressman Hinchey wrote a letter to the City of Kingston Planning Board Chairman,
Lee Molyneaux. That letter commented on Kingston’s environmental review of the proposed
Hudson Landing project. The letter urged the Kingston Planning Board to make sure the City
Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan (“LWRP”) was honored during that review. So important
was the letter, that the Congressman issued a press release announcing the letter. In his letter,
Congressman Hinchey stated:
Dear Mr. Molyneaux:
We are feeling development pressures throughout our communities in the
GRANT : LYONS LLP Page3of 6

12 January 2010
Mr. George Lewandowski, Chairman, and Members of the Board
Re: Partition Street Project
Hudson River Valley and Catskills Region. We have always taken a firm stand
in support of our existing environmental review procedures and requiring any
would-be developers to meet the exacting requirements set forth under New
York State and local law and rules. We believe our review processes work well.
The City of Kingston Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan (LWRP) serves as an
excellent blueprint providing the City and residents alike the ability and
resources to ensure that proposed developments fit within their vision for the
future of the waterfront. It also provides greater protection for the ecologically
and culturally significant resources that are integral to local economic
revitalization. However, the plan can be effective only to the extent to which the
process is adhered (sic).
Recent media reports regarding ongoing discussions with [the
applicant/developer] AVR Realty over their proposed Landing project have
fueled speculation that the LWRP may be circumvented in an effort to meet
AVR’s demands. We urge you Fthe Chairmani and the Planning Board to
publically affirm your collective commitment to continued compliance with the
LWRP. We also encourage you to continue to build upon your exemplary record
of making the process accessible to the public by promptly disclosing any new
development information, including any negotiated modifications to the Landing
project.
As the process continues to move forward, it is critical that the City address
several unresolved issues surrounding the proposed development. Among
these are public access to the waterfront... (emphasis added)
...

The full letter and press release are attached.


CSD wishes that the principles the Congressman advocated in Kingston were being applied to
this project. But apparently, a review adhering to the letter and spirit of the process, public
access to the project documents, and public access to the waterfront are issues important to
the Congressman only when the project belongs to someone else.
All CSD asks you to do is to adhere to the letter and spirit of SEQRA in this case. It’s the same
thing that the Congressman urged Kingston to do regarding Hudson Landing. As a community,
doesn’t Saugerties deserve the same care and quality of review as Kingston? And shouldn’t all
citizens be required to abide by the same standards and rules?
GRANT LYONS LLP Page4of 6

12 January 2010
Mr. George Lewandowski, Chairman, and embers of the Board
Re: Partition Street Project
LWRP Compliance & Public Access:
A Return to the Vision Championed by the Village & Congressman Hinchey
The Congressman’s letter raises the issue of consideration of LWRP compliance as a vital part
of the environmental review of the project. Saugerties’ LWRP ought to be an integral part of
the SEQRA review of this project. As far as CSD can tell, compliance with the Village LWRP
has not been a significant part of the SEQRA review of this project. The EAF ignored LWRP
compliance. It simply acknowledged the LWRP but punted the issue of compliance ahead to
the Village Waterfront Advisory Board (“WAB”). This is a serious misstep.
Numerous policies of the LWRP are germane to this project. While the determination of
consistency will be made by the WAB, where a project will have potential adverse
environmental impacts on resources within the coastal zone, then compliance with LWRP
policies must be a substantive part of the SEQRA review. Regarding this project, consider, for
instance, the following excerpts from the Village of Saugerties LWRP.
Policy 1: Restore, revitalize, and redevelop deteriorated and underutilized
waterfront areas for commercial and industrial, cultural, recreational and other
compatible uses.
Explanation of Policy: In determining whether an action
proposed to take place in the waterfront area is suitable, the
following guidelines will be used:

The action must lead to development which is compatible


with the character of the area, with consideration given to
scale, architectural style, density, and intensity of use;

g. The action should improve adiacent and upland views of


the water, and at a minimum, must not affect these views
in an insensitive manner;

Policy 19: Protect, maintain and increase the levels and types of access to
public water-related recreation resources and facilities so that these resources
and facilities may be fully utilized by all the public in accordance with reasonably
anticipated public recreation needs and the protection of historic and natural
resources. In providing such access, priority shall be given to public beaches,
boating facilities, fishing areas and waterfront parks.
GRANT : LYONS LLP Page5of 6

12 January 2010
Mr. George Lewandowski, Chairman, and Members of the Board
Re: Partition Street Project
Policy 22: Development, when located adjacent to the shore, shall provide for
water-related recreation, as a multiple use, whenever such recreational use is
appropriate in light of reasonably anticipated demand for such activities and the
primary purpose of the development.
Policy 22A: Where possible, access shall be provided in
conjunction with action by other public agencies, such as DOT,
DEC and OPR, as well as through coordination with private
development.
Explanation of Policy: Certain waterfront developments such as
residential projects, hydroelectric plants and maritime commercial
uses present practical opportunities for providing recreation
facilities as an additional use of the site or facility. Therefore,
whenever such developments are located adiacent to the shore
they should, to the fullest extent permitted by existing law,
provide for some form of water-related recreation use unless
there are compelling reasons why any form of such recreation
would not be compatible with the development, or a reasonable
demand for public use cannot be foreseen. (Emphasis added
throughout)

The foregoing sample excerpts from the Village LWRP clearly establish the importance of the
preservation of scenic views, conformity with historic and community character and public
access to the waterfront. Project impacts adverse coastal resources and in violation of these
policies must be part of SEQRA review in order to ensure that those impacts will be properly
studied and mitigated.
Congressman Hinchey’s views on the importance of compliance with a local LWRP are
obvious from his statements in Kingston.
And as for public access, the Congressman obviously felt that was important and worth
fighting for in Kingston. Why not in Saugerties? Here, CSD did not conjure its desire for a
walkway along the bluff out of thin air. That vision was initiated by Village Mayor Bob Yerick
and the Cantine Paper Mill Park Steering Committee. And importantly, that vision was
supported by Congressman Hinchey at the time. As the Congressman correctly stated in his
letter, proposed developments should fit within a community’s vision for its waterfront.
GRANT LYONS LLP Page6of 6

12 January 2010
Mr. George Lewandowski, Chairman, and Members of the Board
Re: Partition Street Project
Conclusion:
A Positive Declaration is Warranted

CSD urges you in the strongest possible terms to issue a Positive Declaration for this project
and require a full environmental review. It is only through that full review that: (1) proper public
access to the project information will occur; (2) proper public participation will be had; (3) a
proper consideration of project alternatives will take place as is required by SEQRA; and (4)
the full breadth of impacts will be studied and proper mitigation required.
The simple fact is that the historic Village of Saugerties is a jewel and worthy of careful care
and protection. And this site is one of its most prominent historic and scenic assets. Although
the applicant might seek to dismiss the CSD members as crazy tree-huggers, the simple fact is
that CSD is on record as stating that they suDport this proiect. But at the same time, they are
rightly concerned about some of its impacts, impacts which appear to have been ignored.
CSD’s participation is not about causing grief or expense to the applicant or stopping the
project. CSD’s participation is about caring for Saugerties. CSD’s participation is about
preserving some of the most important aspects of the project site, properly mitigating impacts,
and getting the Village of Saugerties the quality project it deserves. CSD seeks to ensure that
this project, when built, will be a valuable asset to the Village and the region for years to come.
Thank you for your time, attention and consideration.
Very tru ours,

G YONS, LLP

•HNF.L’ON~
C: Saugerties i itizens for Smart Development
Michael Mo ello, Esq., Attorney for the Applicant
MAURICE D. IIINCIIEY KEVIN A. CAHILL
DISTRICT, NEW YORK
22ND ASSEMBLYMEMBER 101ST DISTRICT
CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES THE ASSEMBLY
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES STATE OF NEW YORK
2431 Rayburn House Office Building 557 Legislative Office Building
Washingtion, DC 20515-3222 Albany, New York 12248
(202) 225-6335 (518) 455-4436

October 25, 2006

Lee Molyneaux
Chair of the Planning Board
420 Broadway
Kingston, New York 12401

Dear Mr. Molyneax:

We are feeling development pressures throughout our communities in the Hudson River Valley
and Catskills Region. We have always taken a firm stand in support of our existing
environmental review procedures and requiring any would-be developers to meet the exacting
requirements set forth under New York State and local law and rules. We believe our review
processes work well.

The City of Kingston Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan (LWRP) serves as an excellent
blueprint providing the City and residents alike the ability and resources to ensure that proposed
developments fit within their vision for the future of their waterfront. It also provides greater
protection for the ecologically and culturally significant resources that are integral to local and
regional economic revitalization. However, the plan can be effective only to the extent to which
the process is adhered.

Recent media reports regarding ongoing discussions with AVR Realty over their proposed
Landing project have fueled speculation that the LWRP may be circumvented in an effort to
meet AVR’s demands. We urge you and the Planning Board to publicly affirm your collective
commitment to continued compliance with the LWRP. We also encourage you to continue to
build upon your exemplary record of making the process accessible to the public by promptly
disclosing any new development related information, including any negotiated modifications to
the Landing project.

As the process continues forward, it is critical that the City address several unresolved issues
surrounding the proposed development. Among these are the ability of the existing wastewater
infrastructure to handle the increased workload, the impact on local taxes, specifically with
regard to the anticipated increase in enrollment in the public school system, siting of recreational
facilities, public access to the waterfront, a determination of the appropriate level of commercial
space to ensure a mixed-use development and a re-examining of the potential traffic and
environmental impacts in the event of a revised plan.
As public officials, it is our duty to ensure that government works for the benefit of the people.
The LWRP was created by a broad coalition of concerned citizens, business interests, property
owners, planning experts and community organizations. The end result was a process that, if
followed, will fuffihl Kingston’s collective vision for the waterfront. It is up to you and the
Planning Board to assure that our collective vision is realized.

Sincerely,

Mau~ic~1linchey Kevin A. Cahill


Member of Congress Member of Assembly

cc: Hon. James Sottile, Mayor


Suzanne Cahill, City Planner
Wayne Platte, Vice Chairman
Bruce Mclean
Steve Johnson
Timothy Williams
Pat Pillswoth
Pat Garraghan
James Reffelt
I ~~i~i4~/Vew 2/044

For Immediate Release


October 25, 2006
Hinchey & Cahill Call On Kingston Planning Board To Stick To The Plan
Lawmakers Encourage Continued Adherence
To Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan
Kingston, NY In response to recent media reports about ongoing discussions with AVR Realty over their
-

proposed “Landing” housing project in downtown Kingston, Congressman Maurice Hinchey and
Assemblymember Kevin Cahill have sent a joint letter to the City of Kingston Planning Board urging their
continued adherence to the Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan. The lawmakers praised the board for their
handling of the proposed development and encouraged their continued efforts to ensure the process remains
transparent through the prompt disclosure to the public of any new development related information,
including any negotiated modifications to the Landing project.

“To circumvent the revitalization plan is to ignore all of the steps that are in place to help ensure that
development along the waterfront yields all of the economic benefits that we expect,” Hinchey said. “By
working with the community instead ofjust with developers, city officials will help revitalize a waterfront
that has the potential to put the city on a path to much more prosperous times.”

“The purpose of the revitalization plan is to encourage responsible waterfront development,” said
Assemblymember Cahill. “It is a roadmap for would-be developers, that if followed, will produce projects
that protect the natural beauty, safety and ecological balance of the area, preserving and highlighting the
historical heritage and significance and provide for the modem needs of our community.”

The City of Kingston Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan (LWRP), originally adopted in 1992, was created
by a broad coalition of concerned citizens, business interests, property owners, planning experts and
community organizations. The result was a process providing the City and residents alike with the ability
and resources to ensure that proposed developments fit within their vision for the fliture of their waterfront.
It also assures greater protection for the ecologically and culturally significant resources that are integral to
local and regional economic revitalization.

The letter also recommended that the Board address several unresolved issues surrounding the proposed
development, including:

• the ability of the existing wastewater infrastructure to handle the increased workload
• the impact on local taxes, specifically with regard to the anticipated increase in enrollment in the
public school system
• siting of recreational facilities
• public access to the waterfront
• the appropriate level of conmiercial space to ensure a mixed-use development
• examinination of the potential traffic and environmental impacts in the event of a revised plan
Daily Freeman (dailyfreeman.com), Serving the Hudson Valley since 1871

EDITORIAL: The Partition Street Project


Published: Sunday, November 1, 2009

THERE’S hope, yet.

In a land where it sometimes seems everyone wants things to get better, but no one wants anything to
change, there is hope in the village of Saugerties, where a substantial retail development project is
getting mostly good reviews.

The Partition Street Project is being proposed at the site of the former Cantine paper mill, which burned
down in the 1970s.

The project includes a 500-seat conference center and catering facility in a two-story building and a 30-
room boutique hotel in a three-story building. There would be parking for 215 vehicles and a restaurant
that will be part of the catering facility.

Supporters says the $8 million to $10 million plan would be a boon to village life and the local
economy.

It’s hard to disagree, although we’ve seen enough nay-sayism locally to rule out a sudden, inexplicable
groundswell of opposition.

Taj Mahal, you say? Doesn’t fit in with local tradition.

Eiffel Tower? Out of scale with the surrounding community.

World Trade Center? It’ll just drive up rents and overcrowd the schools.

Condominium and retail project in a downtown area? We dunno … we kind of like it as a hole in the
ground. Closer to our history.

But we digress.

IT WAS, in fact, a breath of fresh air that some 100 people to attend a recent hearing on the proposal
were largely supportive.

Public comment was reasoned and constructive. Among the suggestions were a reduction in the number
of parking spaces, pushing the building closer to the street, encouraging walking through the village,
and creating public access to the Esopus Creek.
We’ll leave it to engineers to battle out the question of how much parking is enough or too much.
Suffice it to say that getting the number right is important. Too many spots would create too much open
pavement in an environment where sidewalks now predominate to good effect. Too few would create
parking overflow problems in a village where new developers should be required to provide for the
parking their projects create.

Putting the building closer to the street may make sense in the context of this lovely village, where the
buildings do hug the streets, creating a pedestrian-friendly streetscape where walking is naturally
encouraged and should continue to be.

We take it as a given that modern planning for large-scale development should always provide for
public access to waterways and shorelines. It is entirely within the purview of municipalities to use the
leverage of project approval to obtain the development and guarantee of public access to the water.

TRAFFIC concerns should be carefully considered. The project sponsors say that a study of village
traffic concluded that peak volume occurs during weekday work hours. That may be, but local
motorists don’t need a study to tell them that weekends can be dicey, as well.

The issue is not when traffic is heaviest in the village, but how the proposed facility will contribute to
existing levels. The village’s narrow streets and tight turns already can slow traffic. The thought of a
500-seat conference center dumping out as one onto village streets should give some pause — but only
to think through what steps can be taken to mediate the effect. It’s hard to create an argument that the
traffic that would be generated by a facility of this size within a well-developed village ever could be
sufficient to justify blocking any project, never mind one with so much promise for the community.

OTHER concerns raised are more difficult to take seriously.

It is, for instance, highly unlikely that a new economic engine on a long blighted property in the center
of an otherwise well-developed village would result in a decline in the value of neighboring properties.

As for the scale of the project, well, it is intended to be a conference center, but it’s not like it’s the
Jacob K. Javits Convention Center or the Trump Tower. It would be a two- and three-story facility in a
village of two- and three-story buildings. And better that it be in the village than contributing to sprawl
on some feeder highway.

Finally, it is no small matter that a principal and front man of the group proposing this plan is Tom
Struzzieri, whose Horse Shows in the Sun has been an asset to Saugerties and the region. That track
record should count for some measure of goodwill.
January 12, 2010
Mr. George Lewandowki and Members of the Village of Saugerties Planning Board
Village Planning Board
43 Partition Street
Saugerties, NY 12477

Dear Mr. Lewandowki and Member of the Village of Saugerties Planning Board:

First, I want to thank you for reading and considering my remarks.

Second, I want to add specific observations you may not have given sufficient consideration to:
• Parking
o There are two demands: 1) normal daily requirements which can be met with
around 110 spaces on an impermeable paved surface and 2) overflow parking
for banquets which require an additional 110 for occasional use. These could be
on a permeable stabilized grass or pea stone surface.
o All parking could be placed in what is known as a “parking garden” where all the
storm water will be retained on site. (More information can be obtained from the
Queens Botanical Garden website: queensbotanicalgarden.org).
o I urge the applicants to explore additional parking in the three lots to the south
belonging to John Mullen, Mr. Hagopian, and the Village of Saugerties.
o If parking at the base of Nanny Goat Hill is unavoidable, one level off Dock Street
will do the least damage to this unique Ice Age geological feature (see
description by Robert Titus, geologist).
• Traffic
o The Village Planning Board must evaluate the combined impacts of peak traffic
demand at key intersections, such as Main and Partition Streets, from the
Partition Street Project, the Winston Farm Development, the King’s Highway
Development, and lands subject to future development in both the Town and
Village. Projections from the Partition Street Project alone forecast a service
level F, the worst possible, causing three minute delays (twice what there is now
or what is caused at a railroad crossing). Under such conditions traffic would
require two to three signal changes to pass through the intersection, a condition
that will be harmful to Village businesses.
o The tax map indicates a mapped street extension of Ripley Street passing
through the site connecting to Dock Street at the north. This should be relocated
to the east edge of the site along the top of the bluff for pedestrian traffic only.
• Water and Sewer Impacts
o The same issues of cumulative impacts must be considered as in the discussion
of traffic above.
• Cumulative Impacts and Comprehensive Planning
o While statements were made at the November meeting of the Village Planning
Board to the effect that plans for the Partition Street Project and Hydro Electric
Plant were distinct, separate, and not related in any way, this is obviously not the
case. The hotel developers have stated that they will draw power from the plant
and the construction and the physical appearance of the plant and its traffic
patterns will definitely impact the hotel site. The plant will also impact the
adjacent Hagopian and Village properties as well as residents of Ripley Street,
Partition Street, and Krause’s Chocolates. Have property owners on the west
side of Partition Street received legal notices of this proposal?
• Site Design and Building Placement
o There was a major change from the 2007 Restore New York grant application
which showed buildings parallel to the Esopus Creek and Partition Street with
parking concealed between the buildings to the current plan which turns the
buildings at 45 degrees. The current plan occupies the site less efficiently and
exposes the unattractive parking along the north and west sides along the
Partition Street entrance to the Village. The current site plan fails to fold
structures and parking into the slope of the land.
• Visuals
o Before approving this initial diagrammatic layout, the Village Planning Board
needs before and after sections through Nanny Goat Hill and across the main
site. The two renderings (referred to as “animations” in the board minutes of
November 9, 2009) do not represent what is on the plans. The views are
deceptive especially the “Photo Shop” depiction of the buildings to the east that
show a single facade for each building when in actuality the view should have
two facades per building. What you see is not what you will get.
• Public Access
o The viewing platform is both inadequate in size and in placement. What is
needed is a walkway along the bluff. What has been added to the plan is a small
postage stamp platform overlooking the hydro-electric plant with virtually no view
of the waterfall. The other platform to the north (the “snow dump”) is also
inadequate in that it is too far for a good view of the waterfall and blocked by
numerous trees. FYI, the snow dump is not actually shown on the applicant’s
plans. We do not believe that they own it and assume the Village does.
o The concept of a walkway is a public private partnership. The land can remain in
the ownership of the applicant to be controlled by the owner and closed when
necessary for special events. Or the walkway can be deeded to a land
conservancy or to the Village of Saugerties in which case liability issues can be
taken care of through inclusion in the Village’s umbrella policy. There are a
number of management and landscape tools that can be used to make the public
and private work together successfully. The private space can be separated by
shrubbery or other landscape materials and/or by a change in level.
o The advantages of a public path include that it is an attraction to visitors to
Saugerties who will patronize the restaurant and on occasion the hotel and
banquet hall. These visitors will also have a spin-off effect on other Saugerties
businesses. A further attraction is the people watching enjoyment that a pathway
provides to the restaurant or patio patron. The walkway will be a regional draw
and serve to attract visitors to the Partition Street Project and to Saugerties, thus
having a positive economic impact.
• Cantine Paper Mill Park Plan of 2000
o It is important to clarify that the Cantine Paper Mill Park Steering Committee
made up of appointees of Mayor Bob Yerick made a report in 2000 that was
supported by both the Mayor and Congressman Maurice Hinchey that proposed
a park and public access along the bluff. Recently Mayor Yerick was quoted in
the “Saugerties Times” as saying that "I have a document in my office with the
committee's recommendations for developing this property," said Yerick. "That
plan is almost identical to what is being done now." The two plans are more
truthfully like “night and day,” in no way similar and certainly not identical.

oThe 2000 Cantine Paper Mill Park Plan more accurately reflects the plans
envisioned by the Town and Village of Saugerties Comprehensive Plan, the
Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan, the Greenway, the NYS Open Space
Planning Guide, and all other planning recommendations for our area.
• Structural and Safety Considerations
o Who will review the complex structural plans of these buildings resting diagonally
across 19th century foundation walls and rubble?
o Will piles and grade beams support the buildings?
o How will fire equipment reach the shore side of the buildings?
o Is the Village Planning Board exercising oversight in the proper handling of
contaminated soils on this site?
• Technical Assistance
o It has become apparent that the Village Planning Board needs expert assistance
in order to adequately review the Partition Street Project. What you need is
professional planning, architectural, and landscape architectural advice. This
expertise needs to report to you and serve the public interest. Engineering and
law should not control the process.

All of these questions need to be answered before you vote on these plans.

Third, I am attaching my statement of November 30, 2009 as amended to make sure you have
the information in front of you which speaks to the Zoning Law, the Local Waterfront
Revitalization Program, and the NYS DEC Local Open Space Planning Guide.

Sincerely,

Barry Benepe
Saugerties Citizens for Smart Development
Barry Benepe’s Citations (with underlining for emphasis) -- November 30, 2009 as revised
January 12, 2010

• Zoning Law

o Neither Catering or a Banquet Hall is a permitted use under Zoning Law

o Subdivision Law requires up to 10% set aside, reservation/easements for parks and
open space (§168-24)

o Subdivision Law requires “Preservation of existing natural and cultural features


which are of ecological, aesthetic, scenic or historic value … such as … rock
formations … and similar irreplaceable assets” (§168-19D)

o Preliminary Plat Subdivision §168-27C requires:

o “(3) topographic contours 10, 5 or 2 feet as determined by planning board”

 “(4) location of … pertinent natural features, … federal wetlands … rock


outcroppings … single large trees within 50’ of lot”

 “(8) a profile of all proposed streets”

 “(3) names of all adjoining property owners of record, including landowners


on the opposite side of any street abutting the subdivision site, and the
names of adjacent development” (Leading Edge/John Mullen)

• Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan

o 1985 Waterfront Revitalization Program (4) “Most of the Village’s residents are
deprived of one of its most important assets.” While establishment of Tina Chorvas
Park and the Village Beach have gone a long way toward addressing this need,
establishing this bluff trail and its later extensions to the Lighthouse and Esopus
Bend would complete the vision.

• NYS DEC Local Open Space Planning Guide 2005

o p.9 “ It is important to integrate open space with the overall grounds and
development pattern of the community”

o p.34 “Views of and from waterways, especially rivers, … need to be protected.


Scenic and aesthetic values have been well recognized by the courts. Identifying
them helps to ensure their protection and preservation.”

A scenic community entranceway may symbolize the character of a


community and attract people to spend time there. Aesthetic resources such
as a mountain or waterfall might attract people who want to have access to it
or live nearby. These fragile resources need to be protected so that as
increasing numbers of people settle near them, they will continue to be
undamaged and enjoyed.”

o p.36 “Recreation ways” serve active and/or passive recreational purposes, while
linking recreational cultural and natural focal points.” The two terminal points of
the proposed shoreline trail are Esopus Bend to the south and the lighthouse to the
north.

o p.42 Tools: “Site plan approval can be used to protect scenic vistas.”
COUNTY PLANNING BOARD

January 6, 2010

I wish to call upon you to require modifications in the Partition Street Project. I commend the Ulster
County Planning Board for your sensitivity to smart planning goals and your commitment to public
access along waterfronts and appropriately designed infill development that protects environmental
resources and strengthens business.

We share the same goals. We also want to make it perfectly clear that we do not oppose the
Partition Street Project, but rather support it. What we would like to see are changes in the site plan
to make it a better development as mandated by the Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan (LWRP), the
Scenic Area of Statewide Significance (SASS) and New York State Coastal Waterfront management
practices. In order to properly address all the environmental impacts that this complex project
presents, we urge you to call upon the Village Planning Board to find for a Positive Declaration, as it
is clear that many aspects of this project should trigger a Type I Review. It is only through this
process that the applicant will present the alternatives necessary to address the negative impacts.
An improved project will follow in the footsteps of the Walkway Over the Hudson and attract visitors to
Saugerties. An improved project will be a benefit for the project’s investors, Saugerties residents and
visitors, and Ulster County.
We urge you to review the project with an orientation to strengthen the Village fabric and Village
business. If the project is approved as is, it is more appropriate to a suburban setting and turns its
back on the Village and its businesses. This is a unique property, significant culturally, historically
and environmentally. It is also part of the gateway from the south with an historic view of the Cantine
Mill dam and waterfall. It is a scenic treasure and is located in between two historic districts.

If the plan is approved as is, it will privatize the waterfront and preclude public access to the Esopus
Creek and its exceptional waterfall. If there is one thing we have learned in recent years, it is that
waterfront walkways are a magnet for tourism and a boon to business. Privatization is hard to
impossible to undo and a big mistake. We know that you understand and support working out public
access on private property, as has been accomplished in Kingston, Newburg, Piermont, Yonkers, and
other communities.

Parking is the driver of this project. The applicant includes 215 parking spaces – too many spaces
and spaces that are badly located. There are a number of alternatives including a recount based on
the daily usage, rather than the special event usage; parking shielded into the site’s grade change;
parking buried into the former factory’s basement; shared parking; valet parking; and parking on
nearby property. Once the parking problem is solved, this will open up space for a walkway, more
landscaping, and a reconfiguration of the buildings to fit into the historic Village.

I refer you to the Scenic Hudson statement on this project and the statements of many local
residents. We call upon you to urge the Village Planning Board to address the environmental impacts
through alternatives that will provide for public access, protect Nanny Goat Hill, reduce surface
parking, and provide an attractive landscaped entrance with buildings that fit into the historic context
of the Village of Saugerties.

Judith Spektor, Saugerties Citizens for Smart Development


TO THE ULSTER COUNTY PLANNING BOARD 1/6/10

The Saugerties Citizens for Smart Development is a recently formed group


that includes citizens who have worked for years for the public use of our
village's most important undeveloped parcel.

We urge the Ulster County Planning Board to review the Partition Street
Project and call upon the Saugerties Village Planning Board to declare a Type
I action under SEQRA requiring a full environmental impact statement. It is
highly unusual that a development of this size and complexity is not required
to get the “hard look” that a Positive Declaration mandates.

We understand that the Ulster County Planning Board is involved in an


attempt to reform the abuses of the SEQRA process and to create a less
onerous path for development that's easier for applicants and at the same
time informs and involves the community. While we would love to rely on
this approach, we know that it is important to follow the SEQRA process as it
stands and push for a Positive Declaration. We want to assure you that we
are not in it to hold up, stall, or kill this development. In fact we support the
Partition Street Project. We find that negative impacts remain that have not
been addressed. At the same time if we could achieve our goals outside of
the SEQRA, we would be happy to. We have tried unsuccessfully for months
to meet with the principals of this project. We are ready to meet at any time
and have solid ideas to put forward which will provide solutions. We are a
cross section of the community with professional skills including planning,
architecture, horticulture, and business. We are reasonable people with
reasonable goals and we look to you to help us achieve them.

The community has been given one shot to make its views heard at a public
hearing, while the applicant appears to control the proceedings at our
Planning Board's meetings.

We need the adverse impacts on the community character, scenic views,


historic resources, and traffic to be addressed in an open, substantive way.
A mini-SEQRA review has been assembled by the applicant. There has been
no reply to our comments. And most importantly, alternatives have not been
brought forward to address the impacts as SEQRA requires.

By all appearances, the Village Planning Board is in over its head. This
project is literally 10 times larger than any they have reviewed and they
should have professional planning and architectural advice. Instead their
advisors, an attorney and an engineer, have signed on to the applicant’s
plan. The board members appear to have been directed that if they make
requirements of the applicant, the applicant will walk away. Rather than
standing for the importance of a full environmental review that will produce
a better project, the Village Planning Board appears to wish to settle for any
development in fear of getting none. It is our strongly held opinion that the
applicant is not going away and that appropriate requirements to mitigate
negative impacts identified through SEQRA is not only the right thing, but
required by law.

The Partition Street Project’s site plan leaves much to be desired. What you
will see when you enter the village from the south is a large parking lot and a
secondary two-tier parking lot carved out of Nanny Goat Hill, an Ice Age rock
formation that is unique in Ulster County. Imagine your first view turning up
Partition Street being a 25 foot high blasted rock wall behind a two-tier
parking lot! This kind of design may be appropriate for a strip mall but not
contiguous to a village known for its Certified Local Government Historic
Business District, and its Waterfront Revitalization Plan - both firsts in New
York State. This site has extraordinary scenic value overlooking the Cantine
Mill Dam and waterfall. The view belongs to everyone and with proper
planning can be a regional destination much like the Saugerties Lighthouse
and the new and much lauded Walkway Over the Hudson. The proposed wall
of buildings is designed to hide and privatize this view and would severely
shortchange residents and visitors to Ulster County. A more generous and
thoughtful plan would reward the owners and the public with a spectacular
publicly accessible view, a tourist attraction which could draw visitors to the
project from Ulster County and beyond, a true regional benefit. We suggest
that you visit the site and see for yourself the power and the beauty of this
scenic view.

The buildings bear no relationship to the pedestrian scale of the Village, but
instead are staged behind a parking lot. The photo simulations that the
applicant put forward are misleading at best. Not one parked car is shown,
though they clearly would be visible. The most important view, from the
south on Partition Street, is not even simulated. What you are actually going
to see when you walk or drive on Partition Street is an overbearing,
unsightly-- whether filled with cars or empty-- and overly large parking lot.
As to the architecture itself, some have called it a Ramada Inn. A franchise
hotel is not appropriate for an historic Village. The 9W strip that mercifully
ends before the first turn into the village is proposed to come right into our
historic district, setting the tone for all further development at our south
gateway.

There are already traffic problems in the Village of Saugerties. As you may
know Routes 9W, 32 and 212 all go through the middle of the Village on our
small historic streets carrying much commercial and heavy truck traffic in
addition to residential and visitors’ cars. The addition of this project is
greatly downplayed by the consultant hired by the applicant who says that
all the problems will be taken care of with the replacement of the signal at
Main and Partition Streets. What is buried in his report is that for peak event
travel times drivers will be waiting for two to three signal changes. Perhaps
that is acceptable for the one time visitor, but it is certainly not for the area
resident who will be stewing in his car.

We are proponents of a walkway along the bluff, true public access to the
waterfront. You should know that Mayor Bob Yerick initiated the Cantine
Paper Mill Park Steering Committee in 2000 to formulate a plan for the site.
The proposal included a park and a walkway along the bluff. That same plan
was supported by Congressman Maurice Hinchey at the time. Please see our
handout showing a photo of the Congressman next to a drawing of that
plan. We seek the Congressman’s help in his new role as an investor in this
project in bringing his original vision to fruition. We also seek your
assistance in making sure that Saugerties and Ulster County get an improved
plan for the site.

Dave Minch
Saugerties Citizens for Smart Development
COMMENTS ABOUT THE PHOTO SIMULATIONS
We would like to make several comments about the two new photo simulations that the
developer has submitted. One is from the north looking down Partition Street, the other
from the south from or near the bridge.
Both of these locations are chosen cleverly to minimize what the true visibility of the
cars will be. No other locations around the site have such a small exposure to the
parking. These drawings do not show even one parked car of the 215 proposed. If we
are to understand the project, the developer should be required to create a drawing
from the bottom of Partition Street as one enters our Village's business district, and a
drawing of Nanny Goat Hill.
The drawing from the south is inaccurate and should be completed to include the cars
one would see to the right (east) of the hotel structure. There are trees drawn here
instead of cars and a large part of the Nanny Goat Hill parking lot is cut out of the
picture.

Dave Minch CSD


"SNOW DUMP" NOT VIABLE AS PUBLIC ACCESS
The "snow dump" has been proposed by the developer to be a place for public access
viewing of the waterfall. This idea is problematic and dangerous as discussed at the
recent Ulster County Planning Board meeting.
This property does not belong to the developer, therefore costs of developing the idea
would fall on the Village taxpayers. The road is narrow and has daily truck traffic related
to the Village wastewater treatment plant. There are no sidewalks accessing this
proposed pedestrian overlook, therefore attracting pedestrians to this location would
create liabilities.
This proposal is an attempt by the developer to convince the Village Planning Board
that there is already in place "public access", and that our requests need not be
attended to.

Dave Minch CSD


Robert Titus, PhD

Department of Geology

Hartwick College

Oneonta NY 13820

Dear Congressman Hinchey

I have learned that there are plans afoot to develop the Nanny Goat Hill site in Saugerties and
that you are among the named developers.

I think that there are things that you should know about Nanny Goat Hill and I would like to
write you about them.

By way of introduction, I am a professor of geology at Hartwick College and a writer of geology


columns for Kaatskill Life Magazine, and

five regional newspapers, including the Woodstock Times and the Hudson Catskill newspaper
chain. In short I communicate a great deal

with our local community.

I understand that it may be that Nanny Goat Hill will be blasted away in order to make room for
a parking garage. I hope this will not happen.

Nanny goat hill is a remarkable ice age feature called by the name of “ramp and pluck.” It was
formed during the Ice Age when a sizable glacier

advanced from the east. The glacier scoured its way up the east side of the Nanny Goat Hill and
created the gentle slope that is seen there.

As the ice overrode the hill, it adhered to the bedrock there, yanked or plucked much of it loose,
and created the steep cliff face seen on that side.
Please see the attached photo of Nanny Goat Hill that shows the ramp side on the right and the
plucked side on the left.

This really is a remarkable ice age feature and I know of no others like it in our vicinity. I feel
that it should be protected and appreciated.

Like so many others, I watched and enjoyed Ken Burns’ series on the national parks. We all
learned much from it, but the single most important

message was about learning to save, not destroy the natural wonders all around us.

At the very least I hope you will show this message to your architects and see what they can do.

Thank you for listening.

Robert Titus, PhD

Department of Geology

Hartwick College

Oneonta NY 13820
Planned Waterfront Districts in the Zoning Law
Please note that 210-21 C 1 requires minimum 4 acre lots in the PW zone. The
proposed lot line adjustment at the falls makes a pre-existing non conforming lot smaller
yet. Legal recourse to this problem has yet to be handled.

Also note that these provisions in or zoning law are largely ignored in the proposed
plan:

210-21 D 1 The relationship of the development plan and proposed uses to the policies
and objectives set forth in the Village of Saugerties Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan.

210-21 D 3 The quality and extent of views from the adjacent public streets through the
development to the water.

210-21 D 5 The design, location and function of easements or other access providing
public access to the water's edge.

When reviewing the legal basis for our comments concerning public access, the board
should consider the above remarks and these other remarks that we have submitted:
comments on the "Snow Dump" access; comments on the proposed gated, non-
connected viewing platform; comments from the comprehensive plan.

Dave Minch CSD


Statement of

Jeffrey Anzevino, AICP


Assistant Director of Land Use Advocacy
Scenic Hudson, Inc.

Partition Street Project


Planning Board
Village of Saugerties, NY

October 26, 2009

Good evening. My name is Jeffrey Anzevino, Assistant Director of Land Use Advocacy for Scenic
Hudson, Inc. First, congratulations on being named by Budget Travel magazine as one of America’s Top
10 Coolest Places. You deserve it. I know. I’ve been to the Saugerties Lighthouse, paddled a kayak
along the Esopus Bend Preserve, cycled with friends on the bike routes, and had fun at the Garlic Festival.
I’ve also eaten in several local restaurants and cafes. I bring this up at a public hearing on the Partition
Street Project because people are increasingly aware of the importance of connections--connections
between local businesses, parks, natural resources, and recreation. And the importance can be considered
in economic terms. I hope you’ll keep that in mind as I deliver our comments.

You may know Scenic Hudson as a 46-year-old nonprofit environmental organization and separately
incorporated land trust dedicated to protecting and enhancing the scenic, natural, historic, agricultural and
recreational treasures of the Hudson River and its valley. However, while we’ve created 40 parks and
preserves and conserved about 26,000 acres in the Hudson Valley, we know full well that if we and our
partners are to be successful in “Saving the Land That Matters Most,” it is critical that development be
directed into cities and villages. The old Cantine mill site, the subject of the application before you
tonight, is a vacant, former industrial “infill” site and truly ripe for development. We believe that
development here, if done right, offers tremendous opportunity for the Village.

So right off the bat I’d like to make clear that we believe that this is the right place for development and
hope the applicant, Village, and local residents will work together to make the changes necessary to allow
this project to move forward. We are not here as “naysayers” or to stifle the project. We’re here to
provide some constructive comments as to how development here can better fit the context of the village.

To be sure, the renderings of the buildings look beautiful and the traditional building materials, design,
and massing reflects Saugerties’ industrial heritage. And the concept of the proposed uses—hotel,
restaurant, and catering—is fundamentally sound and will probably contribute to the village’s tourism
economy and add synergy to existing local businesses.

However, we’d like to bring to your attention several aspects of the site plan—the arrangement of
buildings, driveways, and parking and their relationship to the street and the creek—that misses important
opportunities for the village, the applicant, and the community. While everyone agrees the proposal is
better than the weed strewn lot that’s there now, reorienting the buildings close to the street, including
compelling public space, and reducing parking requirements would result in a world class development
fitting this spectacular site.

In spite of the building’s architecture, the site plan, with buildings set back far from Partition Street, does
not respect historic traditions or reinforce the Village’s land use pattern, as advised in Goals 4 and 5 of the
Comprehensive Plan. Likewise, this design does not support the walkable Village atmosphere found
farther up the hill on Partition Street and on Market Street.

The project appears to be designed to facilitate the circulation of cars and provide convenient parking.
However, the buildings are isolated behind the parking lots and this requires project patrons to walk
around or through parking in order to visit Village shops up Partition Street.

With buildings set close to the blufftop overlooking the falls, the plan also precludes the opportunity to
run a public esplanade along the bluffs with connections to places like the Village beach, Esopus Bend
Preserve, the lighthouse, and central business district. Places up and down the Hudson, places like
Yonkers, Kingston, Poughkeepsie, Newburgh, Sleepy Hollow, and Catskill, are working on river or
creekside trails that connect parks and open spaces with neighborhoods and businesses. In many
instances these trails run between restaurants, retail shops, and waterfront. And, it’s widely
acknowledged that trail easements granted on private property connect to larger on- and off-road trail
systems that bring those property owners benefits. Connections between businesses, neighborhood,
historic sites and parks boost business and benefit the environment and peoples’ health and well being, as
the trails encourage walking. Who would deny that a patron of the hotel or restaurant would not like to
walk to one of Saugerties’ many attractions along a well-marked trail?

Most of the 215 parking spaces proposed for the site would sit vacant except for the few times major
events are held at the conference center. This excess parking requires additional stormwater runoff be
addressed and precludes much of the site from being used for other purposes—such as outdoor restaurant
seating, gardens, or open space. Since much of the site is in the Planned Waterfront (PW) zoning district
the Planning Board has the authority to waive parking requirements and we urge you to do so. We
suggest that much of the parking can be accommodated on the street or in times of busiest use or with off-
site and parking shuttles. This solution could be used instead of the second tier of parking at Nanny Goat
Hill.

Montgomery Row in Rhinebeck and Water Street Market are examples of infill village development that
hides parking rather than sites it along the street. We urge the designers of this site to take a fresh look
and find a creative solution that would result in a plan that reflects Saugerties’ village character rather
than a highway strip mall, albeit with attractive architecture.

More information should be provided about how the public might use the tent area near Krause’s at the
south end of the site. This is a natural place for a trail connection down Ripley Street to the truss bridge
over Esopus Creek.

2
Computer-generated visual simulations should be provided that show how the project would look from
key viewpoints, such as down Partition Street, of Nanny Goat Hill and wherever else the planning Board
deems necessary.

It is, in many respects, unfortunate that the plan has progressed to this point without a thorough public
vetting and examination of various alternatives, including their impacts and benefits. This is a primary
purpose of New York’s State Environmental Quality Review Act, or SEQRA. In fact, Goal 5-ii of
Saugerties Comprehensive plan calls for taking “full advantage of SEQRA for project revisions.” As a
commercial site substantially contiguous to the Village’s National Register Historic District, the proposal
is a Type 1 Action. This presumes that an environmental impact statement (EIS) should be prepared.
Therefore we recommend a Positive Declaration for this project and an EIS that examines alternatives
that provide a site plan that respects historic traditions, reinforces historic land use patterns, and affords
better connections, including through the site along the blufftop and between this site and other Village
assets.

Again, we provide these recommendations in the spirit of cooperation and the hopes that the stakeholders
can find common ground that will advance this project in a manner that will be a benefit to the village for
decades to come. Scenic Hudson stands ready to assist the Village, applicant and stakeholders in finding
common ground that would advance this project and turn a vacant parcel into the pride of the community.

Thank you.