Controversial apartment plan for Green Oaks withdrawn
A controversial request to annex 4.85 acres into Green Oaks for a plan to build two, 30-unit apartment buildings has been withdrawn following scrutiny and questions from neighbors.
The village board still will vote on adding a multifamily residential district to local code, but approval is unlikely following a recommended denial by the advisory plan commission.
Green Oaks is comprised mainly of single-family residences. Special uses are in place for two senior living complexes as well as Lambs Farm but the proposal by the DeBruler Co. would have been the first to allow for traditional rental apartments.
Neighbors and others mobilized against the plan for the open property south of Rockland Road (Route 176) at 28685 N. Arcadia Road. The plan commission meeting Wednesday had to be moved from village hall to nearby Oak Grove School to accommodate the crowd.
More than 120 attended the public hearing where evidence and testimony regarding the new zoning district and other aspects of the proposal lasted five hours into early Thursday morning.
Dozens spoke to the issue with concerns that included greatly increased traffic and the impact on the condition of Arcadia Road, impact on neighborhood flooding, and the safety of children due to train tracks in the area.
"We put together a plan as a neighborhood," said Tina Summerfield, who lives just east on Ashford Drive. "We all came with exhibits, facts, photos and tough questions, many of which could not be answered."
For example, Arcadia Road is the lone entrance to the property off Route 176. Access for fire trucks and other big vehicles as well as residents trying to get through the narrow tunnel under the North Shore bike path was another issue residents raised.
Rondout District 72 Superintendent Jenny Wojcik said the district had concerns, including a potential impact on school enrollment.
Residents don't oppose development, Summerfield said, but it has to be reasonable for the area and existing conditions have to be addressed.
"It was clear they hadn't thought this through or they thought they could slide through without doing the modifications," she said.
At the end of the hearing, DeBruler withdrew the request to annex the property to Green Oaks, according to Mayor Bernard Wysocki, who attended the hearing. The request had been predicated on approval of adding a multifamily residential district to local code. The plan commission unanimously recommended denial of the measures related to zoning for apartments.