Planning Board meeting wrap-up, July 12. A frustrating mess. Who's protecting Middletown? web view
PLANNING BOARD MEETING WRAP-UP. JULY 12, 2017.
Hi <<First Name>>,
Thanks to all for attending the meeting Wednesday evening. We had a great showing, standing room only :) We really appreciate you all coming out for our first meeting with the proposed Wegmans destination big box store.
Important take aways from the meeting:
1. Our attorney Ron Gasiorowski did a great job getting the 45,000 sq. ft. store requirement stipulation on the record as well as pointing out previous email discussions on the square footage between PB attorney and developer's attorney. This seemed to show how important this topic was at the time in 2015. Not so much anymore it seems.
2. The 22 page GDP resolution and its requirements are almost meaningless since the Planning Board admitted when pressed that the 45,000 sq ft is basically a suggestion not a stipulation for the 20 year zoning protection they gave the developer for the 118 site. I am not sure why they bothered to write in details and parameters if they had already known about a 130,000 Wegmans as a possibility for this project.
There were two Planning Board meetings prior to the GDP becoming a resolution in Spring of 2015 where there was testimony on the record about many details of this plan promised to the residents that have seemed to change. We will be discussing the details at future meetings and holding Mr. Orrico the NRDC president accountable for his previous comments listed on the record.
3. To our frustration, the PB stated they would hear this revised proposal with the Wegmans big box store and make their decision at the end of the application.
4. Gerard Fitament the applicants engineer spoke about a few new site details. Very little was learned as he was unprepared ... again. He was unable to supply answers to some very important questions. Next time he will bring his list of the variances and waivers and hopefully a whole lot
more. Why do we have to do his work for him?
5. It was revealed that all the dumpsters behind the Wegmans will be adjacent to the wetlands, so the garbage will end up in the wetlands area most likely. There is a ridiculously long walk way between the Wegmans and the rest of the mall because they feel people will want to park at one place and walk their cart to the other.
6. Their plan lists 300 parking spaces over the requirement that in our opinion could be turned into a large park next to Kings Highway East for needed open useable recreational space for the public.
7. The Board stated that the project is so large that PB members will need to learn on their own small key details about the project. If The project is approved it will be as per the site plan presented even if no tenants are
listed . The tenants will need to conform to the site requirements or the developer will be back before the board in the future .
8. Our Attorney will cross examine at the next meeting, but members of the public went up to speak and asked some great questions about open space, the 45,000 square ft. requirement, the nature of the GDP, parking requirements, general questions about Wegmans, the buffer zones and traffic. The NRDC engineer had no answers.
9. The Board hired a company called Sandek (not sure of spelling) for the revised V35 traffic study. It is still unclear how many intersections the study will include, we were told that our complete list of roads on Route 35 would be too expensive. They agreed that the traffic portion of the meeting wait until the study was complete.
This was just the first meeting of many more meetings to come. While no one wants to attend meetings it is the best strategy to delay this project for as long as possible. Once they start digging, Route 35 will be at a stand still for 1-2 years while they revise the roads adjacent to the site. We need to put that off as long as possible.
Last night's meeting was 2 hours and very little was accomplished, since we are only allowed to ask questions pertaining to what the witness (engineer) addressed in his statement.
Since the steering committee is not allowed to speak we will have many questions written up and posted about all the topics so people can go up and be heard on the record.
I was told all our meetings going forward will be combined meetings with other applications, probably an allotted time schedule as well. The Board decided last evening that at the end of each meeting they will try to let the public speak and ask questions regarding the recent testimony.
After witnessing a couple of weeks ago how swiftly the board approved the 3 stores (2 with outdoor seating) at the Garden Center Island, I am more determined than ever thatwe need to come in force to these meetings to make sure they do not approve Village 35 as it has been presented. The current plan has no vision, is a traffic nightmare and doesn't belong in our
The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, September 13th at 6:30 pm Town Hall. The only leverage we have is to stay in the game and fight for our quality of life.
Thanks everyone, enjoy the summer, see you in September! Or, hopefully before then at a SV35 Neighborhood Meet-up.