Walden Townhouse project moving forward

Posted 10/12/21

A proposed Coldenham Road townhouse development, that has been on Walden’s radar for more than a decade, has inched closer to reality.

At last week’s Walden Village Board meeting, the …

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Walden Townhouse project moving forward

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A proposed Coldenham Road townhouse development, that has been on Walden’s radar for more than a decade, has inched closer to reality.

At last week’s Walden Village Board meeting, the board approved three resolutions at the request of Attorney Gerald N. Jacobowitz, who is seeking to develop the 37-acre property that has been owned by his family for more than 55 years. A fourth request was tabled, pending further discussion.

Overlook at Kidd Farm received a conditional final resolution of approval from the Walden Planning Board of the development plan for this property on March 15, 2021. That approval was good for six months to give the developer time to meet conditions required by the planning board. A 90-day extension was granted on September 15.

“We’ve been working on those,” Jacobowitz told the village board last week. “We’ve made tremendous headway. We’re almost home free.”

The total project includes 204 townhouse units, built on four commercial lots. A stipulation of the approval includes 20 affordable housing units to be spread out among the project. Construction will be in six phases, with the first beginning with the units facing Route 208. Phase two will be the units along Coldenham Road.

The first resolution approved by the village board was a bond estimate provided by the project engineer.

The second resolution was to accept the affordable housing provision.

Finally, the board agreed to accept deeds and easements as already reviewed. Jacobowitz said certain things will be conveyed to the village such as the deeds to streets within the development. The final decision of whether they become village streets or remain the property of the developer will be made when the village board votes on an offer of dedication.

“If you approve it, you’re not accepting it,” Jacobowitz said. “You’re not accepting it until after it’s built.”

As a condition of approval, the developer must provide for recreational activities on the site and provide open space and parkland on the property. The recreation facilities are to be provided in order to reduce the increased demand on Walden’s recreational facilities. Among the recreational facilities proposed for this development include a clubhouse with swimming pool, dog run, playground, gazebo and basketball court.

Additionally, the planning board is requiring a payment to the village for each lot in the development, which constitutes a trust fund for neighborhood parks, playgrounds, or recreation purposes. Jacobowitz proposed a $50,000 trust fund, and what he described as a $50,000 public benefit contribution.

“By giving a public benefit contribution,” Jacobowitz said, “there are no strings attached.”

Jacobowitz proposed a meeting with village officials to discuss the offer in greater detail. Village trustees opted to place the matter on the agenda for the next meeting.

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