By Peter Calvert
Planning Board Meeting, June 13th.
Board: Chair Frank Winkler, Art Reed, Harland Dye, Katherine “Cricket” Keys, and Joann Callahan. Excused: John Reynolds, Bill Palmer. Assisting: JoAnn Boerner, Clerk, Kent Manuel, DelCo Planning Board, and Al Mohr, Town C.E.O.
Present: Harold Cole; Linda Cole; Nicole Day Gray, Manager, Catskill Harvest; Evan Bowker, Delaware County IDA. Patrick Sullivan; Dan Faulter; Colin Miles Campbell; Courtney Saunders, Eric Van Benschoten; Elizabeth DeFalco, The Reporter; Peter Calvert, Andes Gazette.
A minor Boundary Line Adjustment application on Felton Road property near Route 30 around the Pepacton Reservoir was reviewed by the Planning Board. Gregory and Marie Maugeri proposed to adjust the boundaries within their property. The line adjustment was approved.
An application for new construction of a year-round Carbon Neutral Greenhouse on the Catskill Harvest property on Route 28 had a Public Hearing. The goal of the project, which would create an estimated 7 new jobs in town, is to produce Certified Organic seasonal products that cannot be produced currently by local farmers. Questions to Nicole Day Gray and Evan Bowker were raised by Patrick Sullivan, owner of a neighboring property. Additional questions were raised by Board members and the Andes Code Enforcement Officer. Questions and Statements: The project which would be directly off the front deck of residential neighbors, could devalue those properties. What decibel level of noise and brightness of light emission will be produced and at what times of day? Jazz Night currently creates a certain amount of evening noise relative to the residential neighbors. What are the actual setbacks from the property lines? Difficult to tell from the plans, photocopies of aerial views, and sketches submitted if it meets the 50 foot requirement. What level of water displacement will this project produce? Are the details of the access road to the site developed? Have you developed a set of architectural plans (all on one page) and working construction plans, and can you share those with the Planning Board? Who is the contractor hired for the project? Could this project be financially viable if it does not compete with local famers and the product created is only leafy greens? Can it make back the investment and generate steady income? If not, would it become viable only if reimagined as a venue for Cannabis production or would it need to be decommissioned and rest empty as many greenhouses do around the area? A decommission plan would need to be created for the Planning Board’s consideration. Should this money ($457,000 price tag for construction, half from Foundation grants, half from IDA money) be used to build this pilot project to help an existing farmer in the area who is having economic difficulty?
Responses: A business plan has been created that shows this project would be fiscally sound. Can only do this on a Publicly owned property, local farmers would not qualify. Lights would be off by 10 pm each day, but no light ordinance is in place in Andes. Harold Cole created the road in the past and it should be usable for the project. The cost of an architectural working plan is not covered by either grant or taxpayer monies. Would need to find seed funds to generate them. Understood that they are a prerequisite to the project application. They are taking notes on all the requests by the Board and Public and will meet with the Planning Board and the neighbors at the site on June 30th at 10 am with addition materials to show where the property would be staked out and answer any other questions raised in the Public Hearing. Frank Winkler adjourned the meeting.~