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Apple Ridge Development Looking Sweeter

Apple Ridge Development Looking Sweeter

By Edie Johnson

The proposed 172 home cluster development on 400 acres at the border of New Windsor/Washingtonville/Blooming Grove, on Shaw Road (across from Washingtonville soccer fields) which, among other concerns,  raised local eyebrows because of the hundreds of flowering apple trees that will likely be cut down, and sewage effluent that will be released into a tributary that goes to the Moodna Creek will be back on the New Windsor agenda in a Public Hearing scheduled for March 27.

During an interview with the Orange County Post, developer Roger Mumford gave answers to many of the public’s concerns about it being a safe, useful and attractive project.  Mumford has built several other developments in Goshen and Warwick as well as 3 developments in New Jersey. Eighty percent of the land will remain open space, privately divided among the larger homes.  One lot will retain 100 acres of open space.  “Our community land plan is clustered on a portion of the acreage,” said Mumford. “This will allocate an ample amount of rolling, wooded open space around the community

Questions and Roger Mumford’s responses are as follows:

EJ    What kinds of homes do you plan to build in this development?
RM  There will be a mix of single family homes (ranch and two-story), ranging from 1700 sf to 2600 sf. with 3 and 4 bedrooms.  Typical designs from our other projects can be seen on our website http://rogermumfordhomes.com/portfolio/.

EJ    Will you be keeping any of the apple trees?
RM  We may keep some.  Most have however reached the end of their productive life.  They are also a species that is not as sweet as the apples that are most popular today.

EJ     There has been a lot of talk about possible residual chemical residue from spraying of the trees.
RJ     We have done Phase 1 and 2 soil testing and will do more.  Since 1976 the land has been primarily maintained organically by a Cornell graduate.  We will be continuing to do additional testing, and if any toxicity is found we will do remediation, as we did with some acclaim on a development we did in New Jersey.

EJ  Have you tested for PFAS contaminants in the groundwater or tributary since the site is due South of Stewart and PFAS residual has been found in other tributaries coming from that direction?
RJ    We have not.  But we will.

EJ     The only tributary I saw during a visit to the property had very little water in it.  With so little water to carry the planned sewer effluent, there is concern, especially about the water quality when it reaches the Moodna Creek.

RM     We plan to use a state of the art membrane treatment system.  Water that is released should be clean enough for irrigation.  The Administrator of the Water and Sewer Systems will also be responsible for maintaining a beautiful tree-lined boulevard at the entrance.  Any remaining discharged water will have natural filtration along the 3 miles of travelling it will do before it reaches the Moodna Creek.

EJ     Have any traffic studies been done?
RM     Yes.  Some have been done, but we will be doing more.  We expect traffic impact to be minimal.

EJ  Thank you for taking so much time to answer these questions in so much detail.

Remaining concerns of the public include: 1. -What are the predicted tax impacts, due to the addition of children from this development, on Washingtonville, where they will attend school.  Others have stated concerns about assurance that the sale is final, before the plan is approved, and that it will remain in Mumford’s hands rather than “flipped” to another developer.  With much of the testing and many of the plans completed, he already has a heavy investment in the project, but this and another concerns will have a chance to be addressed on March 27 at the New Windsor Town Hall (7 pm).

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