By Nathan Mayberg
SOUTH FALLSBURG April 19, 2005 In a sweeping motion Thursday, the Town of Fallsburg Planning Board unanimously approved the Glen Wild Industrial Park, expressing the boards full support of the project.
The park will be located on a 63-acre site on Old Glen Wild Road and was approved for up to six buildings of light industrial use, for which it is zoned. All six buildings combined will total 270,000 square feet. That is one-third less than the initial proposal of nine buildings.
Developer Butch Resnick has said that he expects the tenants to include warehouses and light-assembly plants. Local attorney Jacob Billig, who represented Resnick, has ruled out any heavy industry, including chemical factories. Resnick has said that no smokestacks will appear, and the businesses will not have access to town water and sewer. Resnick will build his own water and sewer plants on site.
Their project was met with opposition from some local property owners who live nearby and were concerned with pollution and traffic. One went so far as to hire attorney John Parker, based in western New York, who is also representing another client in Wurtsboro who is against the proposed mushroom plant there.
Parker turned up at Thursdays meeting with the expectation that he would be allowed to speak. Parker said he had an agreement with Billig to speak, which Billig denied. The board, which was led by Vice Chairman Ira Steingart, rejected his request.
Steingart and the board said there had been two public hearings on the matter, which they thought was one too many.
Chairman Arthur Rosenshein recused himself from the matter, due to a conflicting business interest. However, he presided over the first public hearing, which resulted in a second one being scheduled. Steingart and board member Steven Vegliante said they thought the second hearing set a bad precedent.
After Parkers request was rejected, he left and said he had called for a deeper environmental review to be conducted, including a draft environmental impact statement by the developers, but that too was rejected.
Before the board had even begun its SEQRA findings (the final part of its environmental review), board member Irv Newmark, who was appointed last December, interrupted the proceedings, by stating that he was tired of the process and wanted to vote for the project already.
Ive heard enough. Im ready to vote on this, he said.
His remarks caused a stir from some of the opponents of the park, and Steingart reminded him that the review was not over.
A similar stir occurred earlier in the night, as comments made by board member Kim Sutton on Pulte Homes, a proposed housing development in the town, took even a seasoned political official in the audience aback, when Sutton stated, I trust them to do the right thing.
The Glen Wild Industrial Park was also controversial for the extent of wetlands located on its property. Billig said that there are four wet areas on the property. But he only recognized one as a wetland which totals over four acres. That wetland will not be disturbed, he said. The development will not reach within 100 yards of that wetland.
But three other possible wetlands on the site, between one and two acres, will be built on, said Billig. Billig added that the area did not need to be delineated by the Army Corps of Engineers.
The board asked its planning consultant, Robert Geneslaw, whether the Corps should review the wetlands, but Geneslaw said it was up to them. Planning board attorney Ron Hiatt concurred
The board approved a negative declaration on the environmental reviews and granted conditional approval of the site plan, provided the developers meet with the town engineer and planning consultant to meet screening and landscape requirements.
The conditional review also blocks left turns out of the parks eastern entrance, in order to mitigate some of the traffic impacts to the nearby residential neighborhood.