By Nathan Mayberg
KIAMESHA LAKE August 8, 2006 The plans for the redevelopment of the Concord into three different hotels, 3,000 homes and large tracts of retail space have been released in the form of a draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) to the Town of Thompson Planning Board.
A public hearing has been set for August 23 at 5 p.m. on the DEIS as well as a new zoning law to allow the Planned Resort Development for developer Louis Cappelli.
The large DEIS book will be released to the public this week. Henry Zabatta, a consultant for Concord Associates, recently gave a general overview of the project.
The plan calls for the demolition of the former Concord Hotel and the building of a new hotel to include 1,500 rooms and approximately 450,000 square feet of casino space with 200,000 square feet of convention center space. If a casino is not approved, there could be up to 410,000 square feet of convention center space.
The Concords old plans for a casino at the hotel have already been approved.
A second hotel would be built above a renovated golf clubhouse with between 125 and 200 rooms. The hotel would include a 20,000-square-foot spa.
In addition, a 300-room lodge hotel would be built on adjacent property, according to Zabatta.
Up to 3,000 residential units for year-round and seasonal single-family, multi-family and affordable housing are being proposed on property totaling about 1,735 acres. Approximately 600 acres have been set aside for open space.
Between 500,000 and 600,000 square feet of destination and other neighborhood retail and support services would be built on property owned by Cappelli, stretching from the existing hotel site down Concord Road to Route 42.
The town hired planning consultant Robert Geneslaw to review the plans and make recommendations. He and town engineer Richard McGoey have approved the DEIS as being complete.
The town board unanimously approved the DEIS as complete at its Tuesday meeting. Councilman William Rieber recused himself.
Cellini spoke positively about the size of the project. Written comments on the DEIS will be accepted for 10 days after the public hearing.
In casino-related matters, Cellini said he wants the county to sign a casino mitigation impact agreement with the town, as it did with the previous agreement for the St. Regis Mohawks. The former side agreement guaranteed the town $1.65 million.
Sullivan County Legislature Chairman Chris Cunningham has said the town would receive the same amount out of the new $15 million agreement the county signed with the tribe. However, no separate agreement has been signed with the town.
Cunningham stated on Thursday that the countys attorneys will be in touch with the town. He anticipates an agreement will be reached.
In other town business, the town is seriously considering the creation of parking tickets. The tickets, which would be given to the Sullivan County Sheriffs Department and New York State Police, would be targeted for the two main shopping malls in Kiamesha Lake which house the Home Depot and Wal-Mart. There have been complaints regarding illegal parking at both centers. The new tickets would make it easier for the police agencies to catch offenders, said Cellini.
The town is also looking to collect its historical records, which have been kept by the family of Marjorie Smith, the former town historian. According to Cellini, her daughter Virginia has declined to give back the records, which include many important documents, photographs and even videotapes.
Town attorney Michael Mednick will be in touch with the family, which was given compliments by town officials.