Planning Board Limited To Public Hearing On Traphagen Property

Board will review Draft Environmental Impact Statement for 320-unit complex in Congers


When the Clarkstown Planning Board meets tonight, it will hold the continued public hearing on the proposed subdivision. The town owns the 9.06-acre property at 131 Germonds Road in West Nyack.

Clarkstown Principal Planner Joe Simoes said the town board sent a letter asking the planning board to postpone making a decision on the future of the property.  The proposal currently before the planning board calls for it to be subdivided into two parcels.

“There will be a public hearing,” said Simoes. “We got a letter from the town board not to process it. We’re in a holding pattern.”

The current subdivision proposal would allow the town to sell the smaller lot.  The 94,693 square foot property, which includes two existing buildings, would carry covenants to protect the structures. The second lot of 288,535 square feet would be merged with the adjacent Germonds Park. 

At the planning board’s meeting in June, Clarkstown Town Historian Robert Knight proposed a different subdivision. He recommended a subdivision of three lots to allow Rockland BOCES vocational students to renovate the 1729 Vanderbilt House.  He suggested the town proceed with trying to sell the 1820 Traphagen House which had been lived in until fairly recently.

Knight said once the renovation was complete, the town could move forward with selling the Traphagen House, which is uninhabitable. The planning board asked Knight to send a letter to the town board detailing his proposal.

The planning board’s second public hearing concerns the Draft Environmental Statement (DEIS) for a 320-unit active adult residential complex in Congers. The Orchard Ridge complex is proposed for 29.65 acres of land on Route 303 zoned for that use. The wooded property is one mile south of Route 9W.

The DEIS on the town’s website describes the parcel’s location and features of the potential development.

The proposed Orchard Ridge project is located on the west side of NYS Route 303, east of the CSX Railroad right-of-way; on the south end of Old Orchard Lane. The Hidden Valley multifamily residential development is located to the north and a campus type office/industrial development is located to the south and east of the site. To the west of the property is the CSX Railroad right of way, and beyond that is a designated NYS Department of Environmental Conservation wetland. 

According to the DEIS, the homes would be apartment-style units. Each unit would be located one level in eight multi-family buildings. The three-story structures would have elevators. 

Each building would contain 40 units and 25 indoor parking spaces, as well as storage, utility and other common areas. The residences will have two bedrooms and will vary in size from 1,300 to 1,400 square feet. 

Proposed amenities would include an on-site community clubhouse building with space for gatherings and activities, community-wide security services, a swimming pool, bocce courts, putting green and a half-mile long walking trail to the nearby 5.6 acres of wetlands. A total of 645 indoor and outdoor parking spaces would be included.

Then the planning board is expected to move onto a project that is underway. It will review a proposed amendment to the approved site plan for . 

“They changed the footprints of the building,” explained Simoes. “The most significant of the minor adjustments is to the footprint of the fitness center.” 

The property at Route 59 and South Middletown Road encompasses 60.98 acres. The previous approval was for construction of a new two-story, retail mall with 864,432 square feet of total space. The amended site plan would add 15,309 square feet for a total of 879,741 square feet.

The amended site plan would reconfigure 95 parking spaces. Simoes said the angle of part of the parking lot would be changed and a small area separate from the main portion would be provided for three or four police vehicles. The total number of parking spaces for the project would not change.  

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. in Clarkstown Town Hall.

Aaron R July 27, 2012 at 12:58 AM
I think Mary Jane is supremely qualified for the planing board, she's smart, fair and up to date on all the issues. Mr. Hull, please focus on town issues not vendettas. Thank you.
Michael N. Hull July 27, 2012 at 01:08 AM
Mary Smith and Aaron R: Just to be clear for the record. I know nothing about Mary Jane O'Connor and indeed did not know who she was until I saw your posting. I have never met her and I know nothing about her qualifications to be on the planning board. The only person that I know on the planning board is Shirley Thormann and I hold her in the highest regard.
Bonnie Vanderbilt February 02, 2013 at 12:24 AM
The Traphagen house is far from uninhabitable! I moved out of the house in July 2011 after living there for 6 years. Hugh Traphagen was like a father to me. The interior of the house was restored with the exception of the a kitchen and one full bathroom in the section of the house that had not been lived in for many years. The portion of the house that I lived in consisted of living room, family room, 2 bedrooms, 3 full baths, and the kitchen.
Bonnie Vanderbilt February 02, 2013 at 12:37 AM
The main house would be a perfect spot to be used as a museum by the Historical Society. The Historical Society of Rockland County is named in Hugh Traphagen's will. It's a shame the town and the Historical Society can't get together and allow historians to pull their information together and do something worthwhile with the house. Hugh Traphagen's mother, Janet Voorhis Traphagen's grandfather was William Voorhis. William Voorhis was one of the men that was instrumental in the growth of The Nyacks. There is so much history...it's not just a parcel of property.
Lauren Darman March 06, 2013 at 10:54 PM
Dear Ms. Vanderbilt, As a blood relative of Mr. Traphagen's, I agree with you. I only wish you would share some of the memories, photographs and stories you have of Mrs. Traphagen, my grandmother's first cousin, and her son Hugh, with me. Lauren Darman, 201 Hollywood Avenue, Albany, NY 12209


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