TWO APPLICATIONS EXAMINED: Potential Carbon Neutral Greenhouse behind Catskill Harvest and Boundary Line Adjustment on Bussey Hollow Road. – May 2022

By Peter Calvert
Planning Board Meeting, April 11th, via Zoom, 7 pm.

Board: Bill Palmer, presiding Chair, John Reynolds, Art Reed, Harland Dye, Joann Callahan. Board Chair Frank Winkler was absent and excused. Assisting: JoAnn Boerner, Clerk, Kent Manuel, DelCo Planning Board, and Al Mohr, Town C.E.O. Present: Nicole Day Gray, Manager, Catskill Harvest and Evan Bowker, from Delaware County IDA. Mikey Roe and Arthur Melvin from Bussey Hollow Road. Peter Calvert, Andes Gazette.

An application for new construction of a year-round Carbon Neutral Greenhouse to be constructed on the Catskill Harvest property on Route 28 was presented and discussed. The goal of the project, which would create an estimated 7 new jobs in town, is to produce Certified Organic seasonal products that can’t be currently produced by local farmers. Greens and herbs grown year-round and Winter starter plants for Spring sowing by local farmers are envisioned.
The greenhouse would consist of tray soil beds at waist height for ease of care during watering, weeding, and harvesting. It would be constructed on the plateau behind the Catskill Harvest building. A Poly Carbonate foundation, solar panels, geothermal climate control, and a battery storage emergency back-up will lower the energy usage and the environmental impact of this structure (30’x90’) Questions were raised for clarification by the Board and Town CEO.
What is the actual site plan of the project? And where would the structures be placed; the greenhouse itself, the solar panels, the propane tank, the geothermal well, and the road access? Would light from the structure be an issue for the area or neighbors? Would there be a need for screening for the neighbors? Is any water recapture from irrigation built into the plan? Is there an organic and healthy plan for managing any potential pest and animal intruders?
The presenters, Nicole Day Gray and Evan Bowker, were responsive to the need to refine the architectural plan to answer these questions. They will present the plan again at the next Planning Board Meeting in May. The volunteer Board was warm to the overall concept and agricultural goal and the viability of this potential project and offered to make a site visit when final project plan is ready for viewing.

A Boundary Line Adjustment application on Bussey Hollow Road was discussed. Mikey Roe is buying 8.158 acres of land from Arthur Melvin and Mr. Roe presented a proposal to add the 8.158 acres of land to his adjoining 27.6 acres of land to create a 35.758 parcel. Both parcels have road access and septic approvals. The Board waived the need to survey the portion that is already surveyed, but the applicants will need to come to the May meeting with a new survey for the other parcel. Certified, registered letters will be sent to all the adjoining neighbors informing them of the Boundary Line request and inviting them to a Public Hearing on May 8th. The Minutes for the March meeting were approved, and the meeting was adjourned by Bill Palmer, presiding Chair.~