The Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for Project Sailfish has been released, moving the project one step closer to approval.
Located near Interstate-84 (I-84) and the intersections of NYS Route 17K and 747 in the Town of Montgomery, the project will turn 188 acres of vacant land into an approximately 1-million-square-foot warehouse with more than 1,000 car parking spaces and 225 truck trailer spaces, according to planning board documents.
Charles Utschig, Principal Engineer for Langan Engineering, said the changes to the proposed project are minimal since the project’s last iteration presented in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS).
“The changes that we’ve made have been very subtle,” Utschig said at the planning board meeting on Aug. 12.
Concerned residents at the meeting continued to express concerns over the project about traffic, stormwater management, visual impacts and other impacts to their quality of life.
Since the DEIS, planners reconfigured the entrances slightly to address comments from the planning board engineer and members of the board, Utschig said. Planners also modified the grading to decrease the amount of soil to be excavated.
According to the FEIS, the stormwater pollution prevention plan (SWPP) and stormwater management systems have been modified to address technical comments from the planning board and planning board engineer.
“These changes resulted in an overall reduction in the size of some of the stormwater management practices and reduction in the overall project disturbance,” the FEIS states.
Utschig said planners also supplemented the landscaping plan to provide more screening on the west side of the site, where the truck bays are located.
The historic Arnot-Harber house will be relocated from its current site slightly to the north to allow for construction of the proposed access drive and to minimize adverse impacts on wetlands, according to the FEIS. This is a change from the DEIS, which proposed demolishing the house.
At the suggestion of the planning board engineer, the developer will also install porous pavement to minimize stormwater related impacts. However, according to the FEIS, the porous pavement will cover 1.2 acres in non-hot spot areas in a parking lot consisting of more than 1,000 parking spaces.
The SWPP identifies green infrastructure techniques and stormwater management practices to minimize stormwater related impacts, such as porous pavement, soil restoration, bioretention basins, and more. Onsite catch basins within the paved roads and parking areas will collect stormwater, which will be pumped by closed pipes to stormwater management features.
Stormwater from hots spots at fleet storage areas and loading docks will be collected separately and transferred to bioretention basins with an impermeable liner.
During non-peak seasons, the updated traffic study in the FEIS shows between 617 and 641 cars and trucks traveling to and from the site at peak morning and evening hours. During peak season, there will be between 975 and 1032 cars and trucks traveling to and from the site at peak morning and evening hours. The vast majority of these trips are employee passenger vehicles.
However, the traffic study predicts the increase in traffic will not greatly impact most intersections around the site beyond their present traffic volumes.
When a couple of residents questioned the board’s ability to properly review such a large document, Planning Board Chair Fred Reichle assured the public the project is being thoroughly and properly reviewed.
“The entire project has been under our constant review with an engineering firm very thorough with a lot of disciplines since June of 2018,” Reichle said. “So, I believe this board will feel confident when the time comes that everything will have been addressed to the best of our abilities,” Reichle said.
The complete FEIS is available at townofmontgomery.com. Physical copies are also available at town hall at 110 Bracken Road, Montgomery; the Montgomery Free Library at 133 Clinton Street, Montgomery; and the Josephine-Louise Public Library at 5 Scofield Street, Walden.
Written comments on the FEIS will be accepted until 12 p.m. on Aug. 27. Comments may be delivered to town hall or emailed to Planning Board Secretary Suanne Hadden at email@example.com