TOWN OF ESOPUS WATERFRONT ADVISORY BOARD
Minutes of the September 26, 2006 Meeting

Present:   Marion Zimmer, Don Cole, Frank O’Donnell, William Benson, Chet Allen, Robert Santiago, Debbie Silvestro, Town Board liasion

Excused: Rosemarie Kristofy, John McMichael, Kathy Weitze

Board Liaison: Deborah Sylvestro

MINUTES

Chairman Zimmer called the meeting to order at 7:00pm.
The minutes of the July 2006 minutes were reviewed by the Board.

MOTION to accept the July 2006 minutes was made by Don Cole and seconded by Chet Allen.  All in favor. None opposed.

MOTION to accept the payroll voucher for WAB secretary was made by Don Cole and seconded by Frank O’Donnell.  All in favor.  None opposed.

Chairman Zimmer requested that the Town Board send a letter to Julie Melancon thanking her for her service on the WAB.  She also reminded the Board that at the last meeting, Bill Benson was recommended as a liaison on the harbor committee.  She had spoken with him and he has agreed.

Chairman Zimmer introduced new Board member Bob Santiago who would also be a liaison to the Environmental Committee.  She said a letter would need to go out to the Town Board requested his formal appointment.

Waterchestnuts

Chet Allen presented a n”end of the year” report on the Waterchestnut harvester This requested that the highway department inspect the hoses on the harvester before it goes in the water next year.  He mentioned one of the hydraulics seemed to be sticking, and the cutting blades should be sharpened.  Chairman Zimmer will send out Thank you letters to Hidden Harbor, Town Board, Will Thomas, Vince Fisher and the Esopus highway department (Esopus will include a check list for next year.)

There was discussion on the results of cutting the water chestnuts and the renewed wild life.  Chairman Zimmer attended an invasive plant seminar given by Eric Kiviak - Hudsonia, who said that cutting was the best way to effectively deal with the problem.  It was also mentioned that the water chestnuts may be edible and recipes were being researched for use at the 2009 Hudson River Festival.

Floating Walkways and Estuary Grant

Councilperson Silvestro reported that the insurance underwriters for the Town were unwilling to insure the Sleightsburg Park walkway area for public use.  She mentioned that the Town was considering installing a chain link fence to discourage the public from entering that part of the park.  Chairman Zimmer asked if the WAB wanted to take a stand by writing to the Town Board and attending a Town Board meeting to protest the decision of the Board.  Further discussion at the October meeting. She reminded the Board and Councilperson that the grant monies received depending on the completion of the walkways and pedestrian path. The Greenway and Estuary grants were contingent on building of the gazebo and extending the walking paths.

Chairman Zimmer informed the Board that the LWRP states public access is needed to Town properties or the Town will lose grants.  Understands the insurance issue, but there is signage warning the public.

PLANNING BOARD – Somerset Project

Chairman Zimmer introduced Joe Ariel and Nick Graviano, representatives from Somerset.  Ariel told the Board that in 1993 a PUD was approved for the project at which time an integrated “stand alone” zoning for the property was also approved.  Graviano said there were several variations of the sketch plan for the property.  Their plans were to build a traditional neighborhood with street scapes and front porches.  There are still plans to build a hotel, but due to new federal wetland regulations, the golf course has been eliminated.

Chairman Zimmer asked about the underdevelopment of the site.  Ariel said it was that due to the steep slopes on the “ridge”.  Graviano said an emergency access road would be built.  Santiago asked if the emergency access road exiting at River Road, would be used by construction vehicles or if any utilities would be run.  Graviano said that construction vehicles would be routed through Route 9W and that upgrades to utilities were planned. Benson asked how public access on the road would be prohibited. Graviano said with a break away gate.  Santiago asked about passive public access.  Graviano said there were plans for a Town square and a rec center proposed.  It was not a gated community.  The group also mentioned that a ½ acre parcel will be donated to the Town on the Hudson River.

Chairman Zimmer asked about stormwater control.  Ariel pointed out five retention ponds with water enhancement features such as fountains.  Cole asked how they planned on handling the water and sewer issues.  Ariel said the sewer petition had already been accepted by the City of Kingston who had more than enough capacity to handle to additional influent. Cole asked about the other planned projects in Kingston and the impact they would have on the Kingston sewer treatment plant.  Ariel said the City was addressing a storm water issue which would reduce the flow when corrected.  He reminded the Board that an approval from 1993 was still in effect.  Cole reminded him that included with that approval was a $1,000,000 cash guarantee for improvements to the public sewer system, and that is the only reason the project went forward.

There was discussion on visual impact and natural visual screening, “green” building, and placement of the hotel.

Allen asked about the price ranges of the houses.  Graviano said that a new market study was being conducted to re-evaluate pricing.  Roxanne Pecora, Chairman Planning Board, recommended that the Board visit the Warwick site and invite Shuster.  She said the project was impressive enough that the City Planner, Susan Cahill, was recommending something similar for the Cover and Landing projects.

Chairman Zimmer said a public hearing was scheduled for October 25th, so the Board would have to prepare their recommendation at the October 24th WAB meeting.  Ariel told the Board that the architect is the same person who designed Celebration in Florida for Disney.

MOTION to adjourn the September 2006 WAB meeting was made by Don Cole and seconded by Bill Benson.  All in favor. None opposed.

    ADJOURNED  8:45pm