New Windsor Calls For Building Moratorium
The Town of New Windsor held its first official Town Board Meeting of 2020, and it ran like clockwork, clearing up many agenda and reorganization items in nearly record time. Supervisor George Meyers led his first official Town Board Meeting after being elected in November. Among many things discussed at the well attended meeting, council members voted to begin a Building Moratorium that will start in February. The decision was cheered enthusiastically by town residents who have been complaining over the past 2 years about both commercial and residential projects, saying “enough is enough”. Chief among projects contested by residents are Stewart Hill Warehouse and Apple Ridge. Supervisor Meyers, said he is “already on it” regarding both projects. Stewart Hill is already at a point in planning (it has Conditional Approval) that prohibits the town from issuing anything like a “Cease and Desist Order” until the problems can be negotiated. However, as environmental advocate Sandra Kissam noted, there is already at least one lawsuit in the works claiming that the development company abused the zoning intent, so it still has a chance to be stopped by an Article 78 (a suit by the public). She asked that any work on the project be discontinued until the disputes are settled. The debate on this project boils down to interpretation of whether a huge addition can fairly be called an “accessory” expansion. Meyers said he is on top of the issue though, and while he cannot stop them from doing site work, because of the Conditional Approval, they cannot start building until the lawsuit is settled.
The housing development called “Apple Ridge”, Meyers said is a different story because the plans are in an earlier stage, and it will in fact be subject to the new moratorium. Residents have asked that he step in and ask that plans for the project’s water treatment plant be revisited. Several neighbors have spoken at public hearings and voiced concern about drainage issues. Meyers said he is well aware of the issues and plans to follow it closely so these issues can be addressed.
The Supervisor acknowledged that the Town has some serious water and sewer plant problems needing to be addressed. He also thanked staff members who he said have gotten off to a very good start, including council members, Kelly Allegra (the new Town Clerk), the town attorney and accountant, fire and police departments, and particularly their Ambulance Corps who he said had saved a life just the night before, after “bringing the guy back 5 times.”
Meyers emphasized that with this meeting, which was live streamed and has added a second resident comment portion, that it is the beginning of a new and more “open government” for New Windsor. He also said that his door is open, and the town’s website includes his cell phone number.