Planning board approves nine-lot subdivision off Lake Wallkill Road

| 21 Feb 2012 | 10:46

    VERNON-The township planning board on June 8 unanimously approved a much-reviewed preliminary major subdivision plan to develop nine lots on a property off Lake Wallkill Road. The plan originally called for 14 lots and one remainder and needed more than 20 waivers of regulations. The new plan calls for only nine lots and 12 waivers. Mayor Ira Weiner commented that although he originally opposed the development, submitted by James Smith, Jr., the reduction in lots reduced the density to reach an acceptable level, about 3.7 acres per lot. The developer did everything possible to make the site comply with the planning board's concerns, added Weiner. "Seeing everything they've done … we are basically comfortable," said board member Gary Grey, who serves as liaison to the township environmental commission. The planning board had several continuing concerns regarding the property, including a possible artesian condition on one of the properties, the question of who would be responsible for the maintenance of catch basins on the property and the number of waivers needed. Hydrogeologist Frank J. Getchell testified for the developers regarding the possibilities of developing on the lot with the artesian condition. After presenting several solutions currently in use in house construction today, the board agreed to let the lot stand as long as the house was constructed on a slab. Although it will impact the cost of the property, the homeowner will be responsible for the maintenance of the catch basin, and the developer will work out a system that complies with new storm water regulations. The developer also demonstrated that several of the soils needing waivers did not actually exist on the site. A survey conducted by the county was used as a point of reference to classify the soils, although tests revealed that the survey wasn't completely accurate, according to attorney for the developers James D. Opfer. The board approved the plan with the stipulation that developers meet certain conditions. "I'm happy that we've arrived at this point," said Smith.