Simply put, the resolution stated:
...Town intends to carry out an Evaluation of Commercial Drive GEIS Study in the Town of New Hartford and has requested the Consultant peter j. smith to furnish professional services in connection therewith;For this study, the town approved paying peter j. smith up to $30,000.
For the review of the study, the Consultant propose the following:
- Review existing study
- Assess impacts identified
- Assess mitigation measures proposed
- Assess effectiveness of Fees in Lieu of Mitigation since implementation
- Propose new and revised Fees In Lieu schedule
The report was prepared; however, it was never presented at a town board meeting after it was finished in July 2008. We obtained the report through the FOIL process.
For Larry Adler's justification of his rezoning request, he used information from the 1991-92 Generic Environmental Impact Statement [GEIS] for the Seneca Turnpike/Commercial Drive/Middlesettlement Road Area. That GEIS refers to a soon to be updated master plan. However, that master plan was updated again in 2007.
The 2007 Master Plan/Comprehensive Plan Update recommends that the plan be again updated in five (5) years...that would be this year, 2012.
The report commissioned by the town board in July 2007 [finished in July 2008] would clearly contain more relevant information since it was released as the first business park project [The Hartford] and the infrastructure for the park were nearing completion...in 1991, the plans for the business park were very different and years away from fruition.
Larry's selected pages from the 1991-92 GEIS are here.
However, we want to concentrate on excerpts from the July 2008 FGEIS:
The purpose of preparing an update to the 1991 FGEIS is to review the anticipated impacts from proposed projects that have since been developed in the Seneca Turnpike/Commercial Drive/Middle Settlement Road Study Area.
Cumulative impacts primarily consist of those upon the infrastructure, including the existing transportation network and sanitary/stormwater sewer capacity. Some of the identified transportation impacts have since been remedied as spelled out in the Update and summarized in this Summary, however implementation of additional traffic improvements and specific capital improvements related to stormwater and sanitary sewer have yet to be done and as such, impacts to these elements are being experienced today within the Study Area and areas situated nearby.Further the 2008 FGEIS identified the types of businesses to be located in the New Hartford Business Park as business vs. commercial/retail which, according to the report, is located along Seneca Turnpike, Commercial Drive, Clinton Street and Middlesettlement Road.
On page 6 of the report we find "Proposed Land Uses in 1991 and Today (2008)".
In 1991, Route 5A and Seneca Turnpike from Route 12 to Route 5A was already developed for commercial use. General concepts were developed to support a proposed land use plan which served as the basis for the environmental review under SEQRA.The July 2008 report continues on page 9 with:
The General Concepts included:
- Maintain the integrity of existing neighborhoods
- Focus high activity commercial uses in the Seneca Turnpike and Commercial Drive corridors near Sangertown Square
- Stabilize the transitional residential/commercial uses along Seneca Turnpike west of Par Technology
- Encourage low density residential uses north of Seneca Turnpike and west of Woods Road
- Provide a low density planned business zone along Woods Road; include broad site design controls for sensitive development of this area
- Formally designate open space areas, including the wetland and waterway network, to maintain environmental quality and provide visual relief.
- Support continued agricultural use of existing orchards and use agricultural zoning and related measures to support its economic viability.
- These concepts support the fact that the business park was intended to be business not commercial/retail.
2.1 Impacts from Development that Occurred 1992 to Today (2008)
The review of the FGEIS and Findings Statement in comparison to the development that has since occurred and the manner in which it has been allowed to develop was the crux of the Update to the FGEIS. It was determined that development did indeed occur within the Study Area with little to no regard for its collective impact to the existing infrastructure and as such, impacts to stormwater management from increased runoff due to development that covers permeable surfaces, has become a major issue within the Town. [emphasis added] Equally concerning is the impact development has on the management of sanitary sewers. New Hartford has a combined stormwater/sanitary sewer system and as such, when stormwater overcomes pumping capacity at existing stations, the pretreatment facilities that handle sanitary sewer wastes become inundated with the combined storm and sewer flow. As a result of an increase in stormwater runoff, raw sewage discharges into the Mohawk River untreated.The report contains much more information...you can read the entire report here.
To be continued...