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Bedford's Conservation Board Weighs In On 79-Home Proposal

A packed crowd attends a meeting on a scoping session for the 79-home proposed development in Bedford Village.
A packed crowd attends a meeting on a scoping session for the 79-home proposed development in Bedford Village. Photo Credit: Tom Auchterlonie

BEDFORD HILLS, N.Y. -- The Bedford Conservation Board issued a memo offering its input on the environmental review of Wilder Balter's proposed 79-home subdivision in Bedford Village.

The memo, dated March 23, offers input for the project's scoping document, which outlines what will be covered in the proposal's Draft Environmental Impact Statement.

The memo's requests include offering a description of the project's sewage treatment plant because of its proximity to the Mianus River; providing an overlay showing features relating the project site's former mining operations with those of the location's soils and topography; analyze stormwater runoff rates; and studying the potential for mining-induced hazardous materials in the soil.

Simon Skolnick, the board's chair, voiced his group's requests at the Planning Board's public hearing on the scoping document, which lasted for more than two hours and ended just shy of 2 a.m. Wednesday.

William Balter, a principal with the development firm, was at the meeting and addressed Skolnick's question about materials testing. He said there have been no new mining operations on the site and referenced a previous inquiry during the environmental review for the property when Rippowam Cisqua sought to build a high school. Balter said testing was done for his company as part of its due diligence and offered to provide the findings.

Planning Board members had their own questions for inclusion in the document that covered the same aspects as the Conservation Board, including ones that relate to the Mianus River and to sewage. Greg Siddons, who lives in the nearby Farms neighborhood, also sought more information pertaining to sewage and the river.

The potential impact of the project on the area's water supply was a question that came up multiple times during the meeting.

Jean Palmer, who lives near the site and is concerned about water, spoke about her neighborhood's past problems, including well pollution and a having to use filters.

“That’s one of the most important things on Earth," Palmer said about water.

The Planning Board, which is serving as lead agency for the project's environmental review, voted to keep public comment on the document open for 30 days. The board is slated to meet again April 28 to discuss the document.

The proposal involves developing on the northern section of a site that is more than 100 acres, which borders Old Post Road (Route 22), Crusher Road, Vinton Avenue and the Mianus River. The southern portion of the property, which has five ponds, would be kept as open space and include a public trail network.

The project, which requires a special permit from the Town Board because it is a Conservation Subdivision, includes nine affordable-housing units and a farm that would be maintained by a full-time farmer.

A copy of the Conservation Board's advisory memo is available here.

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