Falcon Ridge returns to planning board

By Mark Reynolds
Posted 5/31/23

Last week developer Dan Gueron returned to the Lloyd Planning Board, seeking to continue a site plan review of his large-scale Falcon Ridge residential project, proposed for Upper North Road. He is …

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Falcon Ridge returns to planning board

Last week developer Dan Gueron returned to the Lloyd Planning Board, seeking to continue a site plan review of his large-scale Falcon Ridge residential project, proposed for Upper North Road. He is looking to build 166 single family homes, each on 0.33 sized lots on a layout that has more than three miles of roads and 32.8 acres of impervious surface.
A key hurdle for Gueron is that he wants to construct an onsite wastewater treatment plant to service his residential development project. The Town Board, the Building Department and the Planning Board, however, have all voiced, on the record, their opposition to onsite plants.   
When Gueron first pitched his project to the town several years ago, he indicated that he would install sewer piping from his project and run it south along Route 9W and hook it into the town’s system at Grand Street, which the town supports. But now his attorney, Andrew Gilchrist, has stated that the town’s insistence that his client bear the entire cost of extending public sewer to the site, “renders the project economically infeasible as the resulting infrastructure cost is prohibitive, even for the maximum allowed unit count for a conservation subdivision for this site under the Town of Lloyd Code.” In a May 2023 letter he is asking the Planning Board to continue the site plan review process of his client’s subdivision.  
In June 2022 the Town Board passed a resolution with a mixed message; first saying that, “as a general matter,” the town does not support onsite treatments plants because of the potential for significant adverse environmental impacts and, “because of the potential that the town would be asked to assume the costs for their maintenance and replacement, resulting in significant and unanticipated adverse fiscal impacts to the town.” The resolution, however, states that the review of the Falcon Ridge project should continue, with the developer compiling an Environmental Impact Statement [EIS] that should include an analysis of potential adverse impacts of this type of plant.
Jeffrey Anzevino, Director of Land Use Advocacy for the environmental organization Scenic Hudson, submitted a letter to the town on June 30, 2022, pointing out the many difficulties this project will face if it moves forward. He began by noting that, “as a matter of sound planning practice, to help ensure fiscal responsibility and in order to avoid costly urban sprawl, Scenic Hudson understands the town’s concern regarding package treatment plants, particularly on large scale parcels distant from connections to the town’s municipal wastewater system.”
Anzevino wrote that Gueron’s proposed project is located on a hillside that is in the direct view shed of the home of the Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
“As a result, we believe of all the potential environmental impacts – traffic, surface water, provision of water and sewer, habitat and biodiversity – adverse visual impacts on views from the FDR home will be difficult, if not impossible to mitigate,” he wrote, adding that because the FDR home is within the Coastal Zone, a Consistency Review should be coordinated with the NY Department of State Coastal Program.
Anzevino pointed out that Scenic Hudson has conserved a 185 acre parcel on land on Red Top Road, “and the property is bisected by a drainage flowing from the Falcon Ridge site to the Hudson River. Scenic Hudson is concerned that a package treatment plant at Falcon Ridge has the potential for adverse water quality and ecological impacts that might result in the discharge of treated effluent into the drainage that courses through our property.”
Anzevino suggested that a “hard look” should be given to alternatives of an onsite treatment plant that would include discussions of a sewer line extension and individual septic systems on each of the home lots. Councilman Joe Mazzetti previously brought up this exact point; pointing out that larger lots would lower the number of homes but would be able accommodate individual septic systems for each one, thus eliminating the need for an onsite treatment plant. The developer responded negatively to this suggestion, indicating that this would negatively impact his profits from the project.