Silo Ridge

In a brief appearance at the Supreme Court on Thursday, lawyers for the petitioners, The Amenia Fish and Game Club, submitted papers discontinuing the Article 78 proceeding against the town and its planning board and the developer of the Silo Ridge project. In a brief appearance at the Supreme Court on Thursday, lawyers for the petitioners, The Amenia Fish and Game Club, submitted papers discontinuing the Article 78 proceeding against the town and its planning board and the developer of the Silo Ridge project.The club has entered into an agreement under which the developer will pay for the construction of an above ground shooting range. The enclosed range serves two purposes: to provide safety for residences within 500 feet of the range and to mitigate the sound of shooting that might be a nuisance to houses on the Silo Ridge property.

September 24, 2015-

While we have neglected to voice our opinion on the many subjects that daily barrage our readers, our silence is not related to our failure to have opinions but rather the failure of our primitive communications equipment that we selected for its lightness to transmit those opinions.  We have some catching up to do, so here goes:

 

National and international

We think it swell that Congress did not have sufficient votes to make a fool of itself over the Iran agreement. We think it inevitable that the Republicans did make fools of themselves when they attempt to debate.   The surge of refugees in Europe leaves us speechless but, as we are one of the responsible parties, we owe a huge debt to people displaced by our war-making.  How we can pay that debt is far from clear, but some kind of Marshal Plan might seem in order.

 

Kelsey and the primaries

September 8- The Amenia Fish and Game Club filed an Article 78 proceeding on August 27 challenging the Amenia Planning Board’s decision to approve the Silo Ridge project.

The gun club, which has been in existence for ninety years, is a group “with standing” to sue because they are immediate adjoining neighbors.  The club is concerned that Silo Ridge Field Club, with full knowledge of the club's existence,  placed five houses within 500 feet of the club.  The houses are too close to the club’s firing range, say the members.  They are concerned that the purchasers of those houses will be subjected to noise and possible danger from the shooting range. They would like to have those houses deleted from the plan.

August 22 - Attorney, David Everett gave the Amenia Town Board a list of to do items relating to the final aproval of the Silo Ridge project at it meeting Thursday, Aug. 20.  They included details on the bonding,  aprovals under SEQR, stormwater measures,  inspection procedures and the resolutions adopted by the Planning Board.   

“The Town has to issue an approval under SEQR for the Silo Ridge project and that has to be done by the town board, even though the Planning Board has passed resolutions to that effect.  You can make changes at this point as well, if they are deemed necessary,” said Mr. Everett.

Members of the town board asked where they could read these resolutions, not seeming to know that they have been posted on the town website for three weeks.  “Do you need us to make hard copies for you of the 45 pages of approvals?” asked Everett. 

When the Town of Amenia Planning Board adopted the Environmental Findings Statement for the Silo Ridge Field Club on July 29, they did so without comment or discussion and without hearing from members of the public.   Although the planning board had noticed two special meetings (July 29th and July 30th) to discuss the Findings Statement and related documents and waivers, they voted on these matters with no discussion and then cancelled the July 30th meeting.  Many residents and interested parties were under the impression that the planning board would entertain comments at both meetings. 

The Draft Findings Statement was made public only one week prior to the July 29th vote so there was little time afforded for the review of the documents that were adopted.

One set of comments was provided by Nina Peek, a professional planner and former chair of the Amenia Planning Board.

July 29, 2015 -  The Amenia Planning Board passed five resolutions, all drafted by the lawyers, approving the construction of the Silo Ridge Field Club very much in the form set forth in the developer’s application with, however, many conditions. 

Whether the holder of the conservation easement, required under the town’s zoning law, will be the Dutchess Land Conservancy (DLC) remains an open question.  The DLC, the town and the developer are in negotiations on several points, one of which is the removal of the restaurant from the hairpin turn which the DLC is considers important in order to protect the viewshed.  The town’s attorneys proposed a generic easement; the possibility of the town holding the easement was mentioned.  The deadline for approving the development was July 30th.

July 24, 2015 - The draft Findings Statement is now posted on the Amenia website:  http://ameniany.gov/government/pboard/planning-board-minutes/2015/1272-amended-findings-final-draft-072115/file.html

On July 22, one of the last meetings before the expected approval of the Silo Ridge project by the Amenia Planning Board, David Everett, the attorney for the board, said “We need to adopt this Findings Statement and have a conversation about it before the final SEQR decision.”

The Amenia Planning Board will hold special meetings on July 29 and 30 at  7 p.m.  to consider the findings statement and other open questions relating to the Silo Ridge applicatiion. 

Resolutions for the special permit for the wastewater, the subdivision plat, the Master Development Plan for the whole project will be voted on.   Everett siad “There will be ongoing conditions, but what we are approving is one overall project.”

Planner Marianne Johnson, Dr. Michael Klemens and engineer Julie Mangarillo were on hand to discuss their ‘red line’ comments on the Findings Statement.

July 9- The eagerly awaited final decision for the Silo Ridge Field Club was not forthcoming at the July 8 Amenia Planning Board meeting.  The Planning Board Chair, Norm Fontaine, said that the board is having their attorney, Dave Everett, develop a resolution for the decision which is expected at a future meeting.  

“Everyone has done their piece of the Findings Statement and we are working on putting it all together,” stated Amenia Town Engineer, Julie Mangarillo.  The Findings Statement is what is required to be submitted for the state environmental review (SEQR) by the town.  At the meeting on July 8, the Planning Board was poised to vote to accept the Change Request Protocol, that outlines the process by which  the developer can make field changes to the site plan without any review or approval by the Planning Board.

June 23, 2015.  Conflicts with the Amenia gun club, disagreements over bonding for Silo Ridge and a statement to the planning board expressing concerns about the review process by a member of the Planning Board created an air of uncertainty at the last scheduled planning board meeting before the decision for the Silo Ridge Project has to be made on July 9.  The board has not voted on most of the issues that have to be decided. 

One of the bright moments at the meeting was an application from the proprietors of Monte’s for a health food store with fresh juices and salads in one of the buildings that they own near the restaurant.  The group wants to focus on business coming from tourists using the Rail Trail. 

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