By Ted Waddell
KAUNEONGA LAKE April 15, 2005 Forget Woodstock.
At Wednesday night's three-plus-hour regular Town of Bethel Planning Board meeting, Woodstock was mentioned only once as Chairman Herman Bressler and the board held five public hearings and listened to 12 applications for proposed building projects in the town.
Facing a packed house and a room filled with lawyers, developers and a few local folks hoping to cash in on the building boom, Bressler said before the meeting, "If we follow the rules [five minutes to speak and "no meetings within our meeting"], we should get out before daybreak."
Continuation of a public hearing for a 23-lot subdivision located on Jaketown Road & Gabriel Road (Bethel Tax Map #20-1-4), proposed by North Jersey Realty Company, Inc.
The developers went back to the drawing board to address concerns regarding only one proposed access road (a second road would be built so "people will have a choice"). The original plan called for 22 lots but was expanded to 23.
Dave Weingert, a local property owner along Jaketown Road, questioned sight lines and runoff ditches. Other adjacent property owners were concerned about runoff from the development impacting their property or whether new wells would effect their water. The board plans a site visit.
Public hearing for a proposed special use permit to construct an accessory structure at the corner of routes 17B and 55 (Bethel Tax Map #34-2-13), proposed by HSD, LLC. Steve Dubrovsky, developer of the Chapin Estates, unveiled plans to build a 10'x10', 30-foot-high clocktower at the site of the old El Monaco's Restaurant in White Lake, including landscaping, parking and future retail space.
"It will be a landmark when you drive in and out of the area," said Dubrovsky.
The project was approved.
Public hearing for a proposed subdivision located on Pine Grove Road (Bethel Tax Map 55A-1-75.1) by Jazz Dam Development. Located in Smallwood, the proposed subdivision encompasses 221 acres.
Public hearing for a proposed accessory structure located on 4044 SR 55 (Bethel Tax Map #18-1-17.1), proposed by Camp Toras Chesed. The board approved the construction of a 58'x100' pole building to be used as a gym if the project did not include exterior lighting.
Public hearing for a special use permit for property located on 263 Hurd Road (Bethel Tax Map #21-1-1.12), proposed by Bethel Road Development. The board tabled plans to expand an existing home into a 5,000-square-foot retail store with 20 parking spaces at Hurd and West Shore roads.
A Gerry Foundation representative questioned the impacts of the proposed retail store on the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts: "We have a multi-million-dollar investment in our property."
The owner of an adjacent property expressed concerns about "disruption" to "the quality of life . . . to people with houses in this area."
"It would be an upscale art gallery, not a mom & pop cigarette store," replied the owner of the home.
Regular Meeting Business
Application for expansion of a business to include boat and RV storage located on 4243 SR 55 (Bethel Tax Map #13-1-25), proposed by Fred Lagattuta. The board scheduled a public hearing.
Application for a conceptual plan for Phase III at the Top Ridge major subdivision (Bethel Tax Map #55-1-8,16,17,18), proposed by Woodstone Lakes Development, LLC.
Part of Chapin Estates on Toronto Reservoir, plans call for 34 lots of 5 1/4 to 6-7 acres each. The developers are working on an environmental impact statement to protect eagle flyways and rattlesnakes.
The board requested specific plans on how the developers plan to deal with stormwater retention and build on steep sections of the site.
Application for a proposed 12-lot subdivision located on Moscoe Road (Bethel Tax Map #53-1.60.15) ,proposed by Noble Nest, LLC. The NJ property owner plans 1.05 to 1.8-acre lots on a 19-acre site.
The board scheduled a public hearing for May 10.
Application for a proposed 195-unit single family dwellings located between SR 55 and the Old White Lake Turnpike (Bethel Tax Map #8-1-68/83), proposed by The Swan in Swan Lake, LLC. The proposed cluster development is located on 178 acres and is zoned rural/farm. Negotiations with the Town of Liberty are under way to supply water.
Application for expansion of a bungalow colony located at Divri Yoel Children's Camp on Cohen & Cohen Road (Bethel Tax Map #13-1-4.2), proposed by Divri Village. The one-story 50'x100' cinderblock building would be used as a dormitory for 89 kids. The board scheduled a public hearing, and the applicant was given the nod to clear 2.3 acres and drill a test well prior to the hearing. The board praised the applicant's detailed building plans.
Application for a proposed four-lot subdivision located on Major Marie Rossi Drive (Bethel Tax Map #15-1-19.10), proposed by John Deck. The board questioned the applicants desire to have a town-owned road leading into the 10-acre site.
Application for a two-lot subdivision located on Old White Lake Turnpike (Bethel Tax Map #18-1,25.1), proposed by Liudmila Kozko. A public hearing was scheduled for May 10 regarding the proposal to divide a 2 1/2-acre lot into two lots.
Application for a proposed major subdivision located on SR 17B (Bethel Tax Map #40-1-6), proposed by Redwood Estates, LLC. The proposal calls for building 42 structures on 7.38 acres, and according to the board, approval hinges on access to public sewer. The co-op project includes a community building, pool and parking. The board will review the project in more detail.
Application for a proposed nine-lot subdivision located on Dr. Duggan Road (Bethel Tax Map #26-1-18.3, 18.4, 18.5), proposed by Upstate Development, LLC. The project calls for subdividing three five-acre lots. A public hearing is pending.
Application for a proposed 11-lot subdivision located on SR 17B near Dr. Duggan Road (Bethel Tax Map #26-1-18.1), proposed by Upstate Development, LLC. The project would be mostly residential, with some possible commercial use. A public hearing is pending.
Application to convert an existing bungalow colony into 13 three-unit buildings located on SR 55 next to the town hall (Bethel Tax Map #34-2-3, 4.1, 4.2, 25), proposed by Asher Grak Development Group. The site consists of 22 units, a recreation center and two houses on 8.4 acres (a real estate listing shows 28 structures on the property). Due to density concerns, the board tentatively recommended 25 lots vs. the proposed 39.
Application for a conceptual design for a major subdivision located at the old Smallwood Golf Course (Bethel Tax Map #51-1-25.2, 27.1), proposed by Upstate Land, LLC. The plans call for 174 attached units to be constructed on the 181-acre site, surrounding a large wetlands area, and would include recreation facilities, pools, tennis courts, baseball fields and jogging paths. It would be similar in concept to attached two-story townhouses designed by the architect along the Hudson River.
The board's initial reaction was positive.