After avoiding an Article 78 from Highland Square developers, the Town of Lloyd may be up against an Article 78 from its citizens.
Lauretta Drive resident Fran Raucci may file an appeal in New York State Supreme Court after the Lloyd Planning Board reversed its vote on preliminary Planned Unit Development (PUD) approval for Highland Square, DES Developers’ $100 million assisted living and retail complex at the northwestern corner of Routes 299 and 9W.
Lauretta Drive opposes the sole proposed entrance to Highland Square on Route 299.
On Thursday, June 24, the Planning Board voted 4-3 against the PUD. On Monday, June 28, they approved the same proposal, 5-0.
At the Lloyd Town Board meeting on Wednesday, July 14, Raucci questioned the motivations behind the swift reversal.
“Don’t tell me that your attorney scared you with an Article 78. [DES Developers] had no grounds for an Article 78 -- except maybe that they were promised, ‘Everything will run smoothly. Don’t worry about a thing.’ Lauretta Drive residents, on the other hand, would have had a better shot at an Article 78. For us, there was reasonable cause -- since we would be losing our quality of life and overall character. While there may not have been anything illegal about this whole process, from beginning to end, it certainly should be considered unethical and immoral,” she said.
DES is the same firm behind Vineyard Commons, the 185-unit luxury senior housing development on Routes 44-55.
“This developer continues to receive carte blanche. There’s something there that we need to think about. We, the people, are not being respected. The planning board members are not being respected. Their power has been usurped... The Planning Board asked them to minimize the project, but yet it was passed the way it was. They asked them to take a story down, they refused,” she said.
Supervisor Ray Costantino said that the town took the public’s input seriously.
“[The Town Board and Planning Board] listened very intently and just about everything that was commented on was put into the SEQRA review and put into the law. The only thing that we didn’t put in was ‘No, we don’t want it in our backyard,’” he said.
Raucci said that she and neighbor Madeline Labriola have hired an attorney, and will continue to investigate an Article 78.
Water and Sewer Department Administrator Wes Monica requested approval to hire Morris Associates to test for disinfection by-products in Lloyd’s drinking water.
Disinfection by-products -- including carcinogenic trihalomethanes (THMs) and haloacetic acids (HAA5) -- are formed when chlorine meets organic matter in turbid water.
Under stricter Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards, isolated areas in Lloyd’s water system have been testing positive for disinfection by-products.
“What we need to do is try and reduce our Total Organic Carbon (TOC). The first step to do that is through chemicals, so that’s why I’d like to do this bench testing... We have to continue testing and then the EPA is going to decide what further process we may need to add,” said Monica.
Lloyd must show compliance with the new standards by 2013. If the water maintains a high TOC, it may need additional chemical treatment or microfiltration.
Microfiltration “isn’t cheap,” said Monica.
Costantino said the Town of Marlborough, which is considering joining Lloyd’s water district, is looking for proof of quality.
“There was a question raised, ‘By the time the water gets to the town line in Marlborough, is it going to effect [quality]?’ [Morris Associates] can actually predict by testing what [TOC] is going to be in Milton... We’re in compliance... [Through testing], we can say for certain that the water we sell, it’s clean, it’s good, it’s healthy,” said Costantino.
Lloyd’s drinking water is drawn from the Hudson River and town reservoirs.
“Right now we’re on full river water. Anybody on a low-sodium diet probably shouldn’t drink the water -- it’s over 20 milligrams per liter,” said Monica.
Four public hearings were set for Wednesday, August 11 at 7:30 p.m. The floor will open for commentary on Local Law K, to enact a new Chapter 80 titled “Transient Solicitors/Peddlers and Merchants”; a proposal to install a new low-pressure force main in Upper Grand Street near the Route 9W intersection; a proposal to consider the extension of the Highland Sewer District to include 24 River Road; and Local Law L, to establish a new Chapter 83 titled “Smoking Prohibitions.”