Andes planners near major subdivision OK

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By Matthew J. Perry
The Andes Planning Board held a public hearing Monday on an 88-acre, eight-lot subdivision on land owned by Harold Cole above the Andel Inn on Route 28. Several neighboring landowners attended the hearing to review site maps and ask questions of Cole and Doug Wooden, acting surveyor, but no objections to the project were raised.

Neighbors were concerned primarily with the quality of the septic fields in the development and the possibility that individual lots, the largest of which is nearly 20 acres, could be subdivided again after Cole sells off the parcels. Wooden presented diagrams and thorough descriptions of the septic engineering, and while admitting that further subdivisions were not impossible, he opined that review of any further subdivisions would be demanding, with many agencies taking interest. His explanations seemed to satisfy Cole’s neighbors.

Although the planning board, which is acting as lead agency in the review, is not yet ready to issue full approval of the project, members felt confident in announcing the public hearing as closed.

Board consultant Tom Evans declared that he would create a to-do list that would expedite the issuing of a negative declaration for the project’s SEQR review, perhaps as early as the board’s next meeting. Of primary concern is the subdivision’s road, which is intended to be private and does not meet all specifications for town road maintenance. The board reported that Highway Commissioner Mike McAdams has stated that Andes does not have the resources to maintain any more roads.

Despite the board’s position as lead agency, it is still possible that other concerns, specifically the DEP and DOT, could raise concerns about storm water run-off, despite many containing stone walls in the subdivision and strategically engineered sediment traps. Since city and state agencies have not always been timely in their reviews, members were cautious about viewing next month’s meeting as the end of the road for Cole. It was also stated that the town board should also have the opportunity to voice any concerns before a final judgment.

No action was taken this month on the ongoing Andes Library restoration project, but the planning board was willing to express optimism concerning parking, a trouble spot in the library plans. Regulations require one parking space for every three patrons of the library, and legitimate parking spaces can be situated up to 500 feet away from the building. These two factors combined would mean that parking spaces further down Route 28, on High Street, in the bank parking lot on off hours, and possibly in a vacant lot adjacent to Ron Guichard Realty would supply the library with ample parking on even the busiest hours or special occasions.

As they stand, the plans for the library include only eight parking spaces on the east side of the building.