Scenic Hudson weighs in on Falcon Ridge

By Mark Reynolds
Posted 7/20/22

Jeff Anzevino, Director of Land Use Advocacy for Scenic Hudson, recently sent comments to Loyd Supervisor Dave Plavchak, Planning Board Chairman Scott McCarthy and the members of their respective …

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Scenic Hudson weighs in on Falcon Ridge


Jeff Anzevino, Director of Land Use Advocacy for Scenic Hudson, recently sent comments to Loyd Supervisor Dave Plavchak, Planning Board Chairman Scott McCarthy and the members of their respective boards, concerning a request from developer Dan Gueron, to allow him to construct a private wastewater treatment plant on the site of his proposed 166 single family home residential development project, known as Falcon Ridge. The property is located off of Upper North Road and was formerly the site of the Altamont Farm.

“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 parcels distant from connections to the town’s municipal wastewater systems,” Anzevino wrote.

Anzevino noted that Scenic Hudson has reviewed a June 15th resolution adopted by the Town Board, “which resolves that a positive declaration of significance by the Planning Board under the State Environmental Quality Review Act [SEQRA] for the project is appropriate, and that the potential adverse impacts of a package plant should be studied in an Environmental Impact Statement [EIS].” Anzevio also pointed out that his organization has reviewed the Long Environmental Assessment Form [EAF], dated May 13, 2021, and the Resource map, “with regard to the project’s potential environmental impacts, which includes traffic, biodiversity, and other areas of concern along with visual impacts of the package plant.”

Anzevino notes that based on Scenic Hudson’s review he is contacting the Town and Planning Boards, letting them know that information is missing from the EAF, “and to echo the need for a positive declaration and preparation of a full EIS. Further, to ensure a fully scoped Draft EIS, we urge that a public hearing be held so that all town residents and other stakeholders my be heard, and all potential significant impacts and alternatives that should be examined during the SEQRA process are identified.”

Anzevio wrote that this should include the project’s visual impact on the Franklin D. Roosevelt home in Hyde Park, which is two miles from the project site on the eastern side of the Hudson River. He noted that the FDR home is a National Historic site and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and should be considered within the Area of Potential Effect. APE is defined as, “the geographic area or areas within which an undertaking may directly or indirectly cause alterations in the character or use of historic properties, if any such properties exist.”

Anzevino said the Resource Map should be updated to indicate portions of the site that are visible from the viewing location behind FDR’s home Springwood, the only site in the U.S.... where a President was born, kept a lifelong connection with and where he is buried. He even wrote a memo in 1943, stating that after the federal government took ownership of his property, that the vistas (which includes the Falcon Ridge Property) to the river and to the south and west of his home should be preserved.

Anzevino pointed out that Scenic Hudson has conserved a 185 acre parcel on Red Top Road in Highland [SBL 80.3-2-5.100], which is bisected by a drainage flow from the Falcon Ridge property. He said Scenic Hudson is concerned that a package plant on the development site, “has the potential for adverse water quality and ecological impacts that might result from discharge of treated effluent into the drainage that courses through our property.”

Anzevino wrote that Scenic Hudson favors the developer installing a sewer line extension, which was noted by Town Councilman Joe Mazzetti, and would run from his site down Route 9W and tie into the town’s system at Grand Street. This was the developer’s initial proposal. Anzevino also wrote that Scenic Hudson favors individual septic systems on each property. This would require the developer to make each lot larger, would lower the number of homes he wants to build and impact his bottom line, something he rejected outright. The town’s land use attorney Paul Van Cott, however, has pointed out on numerous occasions that the Town and Planning Boards have the right to require modifications of a developer to a project, as presented, that they determine is not right for a particular site.

Anzevino urged the town to consider a, “range of alternatives that will allow the town to assess whether these impacts can be reduced and to choose that alternative that mitigates impacts to the greatest extent practicable, as required by SEQRA.”

Anzevino also sent his letter to Dave Barton, Lloyd’s Director of Building, Planning and Zoning Enforcement; Daniel Mackey, Deputy Commissioner,NYS Historic Preservation Office; Matthew Maraglio, Coastal Resource Specialist, NYS Department of State and Amy Bracewell, Superintendent, Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site.


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