TOWN OF ROSENDALE TOWN
JOINT ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW BOARD
FEBRUARY 21, 2008
The Planning Board met at 7:00
p.m. to discuss whether to proceed as a joint review board with the Town
Board for the SEQR on the Hudson River Valley Resort application; DEC
Region #3 has also indicated that it will seek lead agency. The
Planning Board after discussion voted to pursue lead agency solely in
The Joint Environmental Review Board (JERB) and the Rosendale Town Board convened at 7:35 p.m.at the Rosendale Community Center with the calling of the roll of both boards as follows:
Planning Board: Chairman Billy Liggan Present
Councilwoman Manna Jo
Councilman Robert Gallagher Excused
Mary Lou Christiana, Counsel to Planning and Town Board
Charles (Chuck) Voss, C.T. Male Assoc.
Dave Plante, C.T. Male Assoc.
Supervisor McDonough stated
that the best chance for the Town to retain lead agency would be by
having the Planning Board take lead agency since DEC Region #3 has
foiled the effort to have a joint lead agency; they intend to pursue
Councilwoman Greene stated that
she has concerns about the advise that the DEC Commissioner would never
act on a joint lead agency. Ms. Greene stated that she spoke with
Mr. Ewing and he said there is no language in the law to deter a
decision of joint lead agency; she said that she was told that if they
felt that pursuing joint lead agency would harm us, we would receive a
warning. Ms. Greene asked the Planning Board if this new information
would change their earlier decision; their response was “no”.
Mary Lou Christiana, counsel,
stated that in the early 1990's two agencies seeking joint lead agency
were told the DEC Commissioner could only act on one; there is a new
commissioner and perhaps a new interpretation. Ms. Christiana
stated that we must have a decision to DEC by tomorrow (February
Councilman Minissali said that
he felt the “die is cast” since we said both yes and no; in the future
we must move in a more cautious manner.
Supervisor McDonough asked if
the Town Board should continue to pursue lead agency; he is not choosing
to make a motion to have the Town Board go forward since the Planning
Board voted to continue to seek lead agency.
Councilman Cluen stated that he
concurred; all the people will be heard throughout the process; DEC
will provide for all our needs for information whether as lead agency or
an involved agency. Mr. Cluen has concerns about DEC being in
control of the escrow; but the Town would still be in control of
Councilman Minissali questioned
the letter dated February 11, 2008 from DEC asking if they will honor
what was stated if they become lead agency.
Planning member Nick Mercurio
stated that he recently attended a conference where the DEC Commissioner
spoke; within the course of 4 minutes the Commissioner stated at least 8
times, “when we are lead agency”; which did not give him an easy
Councilwoman Greene stated that
this raises concerns as to the degree DEC controls the process; citing
“home rule” Ms. Greene stated there are times when DEC should and should
not become lead agency.
Chairman Liggan stated that if
the Planning Board becomes lead agency we will retain control of the
escrow and look at local issues which DEC may or may not do; they seem
more regionally driven.
Joe Eriole, attorney for HRVR,
was present, Councilman Minissali invited Canopy to come and present
information. Mr. Eriole stated that all three (3) players would do
a good job as lead agency in the SEQR process; none of the decisions
can take jurisdiction away from the Town or DE; he advised to “rally
behind one board” as the best chance. He stated that Canopy is
anxious to come back in formal and informal sessions.
Planning member Joe Havranek
said that the Planning Board has already taken action to be lead agency;
we must become united. He further stated that Ms. Christiana will
need to present a strong case to the DEC for keeping the process in
Joanne McParland, resident,
stated that she is disappointed in the Town Board in not going forward
for lead agency; she feels that Planning Board is “pro Canopy”.
Supervisor McDonough said that
we came together for the best benefit of the Town in a collaborative
way, now our best chance to retain control is to allow the Planning
Board to proceed.
Planning members Morf and
Havranek stated that this will still be a collaborative review.
Mr. Havranek stated that the Planning Board is not “pro Canopy’ but “pro
Code” and they treat each applicant the same by applying the
code. Supervisor McDonough concurred that the Planning Board is
“pro Code”; they go beyond the code to benefit the Town.
Councilman Cluen stated that
the Planning Board is “pro the process”; if you follow the process both
positive and negative will be brought out.
Bob Cahalan, a resident, asked what “Save the Lakes” wants to save the lakes from; who will make up the taxes.
Tim Trompetter, a resident,
asked who will represent Rosendale; Supervisor McDonough said that he
and the Planning and Town Boards will represent the Town.
Pete Perry stated that as involved agencies, both Boards will represent the Town interests through the process.
Laura Morielli, a resident,
asked if there was any way to show DEC we are behind the Town; Ms.
Christiana said she would check to see if letters of support and etc.
would help and be entered into the process.
Noelle Damon, a resident, asked
should DEC make the decision to keep the process, is there any way to
keep the process open. Councilwoman Greene stated that to hold
closed sessions, all must agree to hold closed meetings.
Jeanne Walsh, a resident,
stated that Save the Lakes made personal attacks on Planning Board
members, if they were to come together in support of the Planning Board
seeking lead agency it could have an affect.
Ann Kalmbach, a resident,
stated that she feels DEC are protecting their jobs; they may do
mediocre reports; when will the public see the reports.
Supervisor McDonough said that the public will get the information from the Town Board and Planning Board
Planning member Nick Mercurio stated that a letter to any agency will live forever and they are
FOIL-able; letters of support could never hurt our cause.
Planning member Havranek
suggested that letters from the Town Board and Save the Lakes written in
support of the Planning Board being lead agency would help Ms.
Christiana support her case before the DEC Commissioner.
Mark Morganstern, a resident,
questioned who legal counsel represents; Supervisor McDonough replied
that Ms. Christiana is legal counsel to the Planning Board in general
and is representing the Planning Board and the Town Board on this
A motion was made by Supervisor
McDonough that the Town Board authorize the Supervisor to write a
letter to DEC Region #3 supporting the intent of the Rosendale Planning
Board to seek lead agency; seconded by Councilman Cluen.
Discussion followed during which Supervisor McDonough stated we have a time frame until tomorrow (February 22nd);
a letter will come from the Planning Board declaring their intent to be
lead agency and dissolve the JERB; a letter should come from the
Supervisor supporting the Planning Boards intent to become lead agency
and carbon copying the DEC Commissioner and all involved agencies.
The motion was amended by
Supervisor McDonough and seconded by Councilman Cluen to include carbon
copying the DEC Commissioner and all involved agencies. Roll Vote:
Councilwoman Greene asked to
make a statement before casting her vote; she believes that the Town
Boar should stay in the race; she agreed with the earlier action but
feels she would be voting a contradiction to her original conviction.
Councilman Minissali Yes
Supervisor McDonough Yes
Councilman Gallagher Absent
Jeanne Walsh reminded everyone
that all involved will have the opportunity to respond and have input;
we have to keep them informed through the process.
Supervisor McDonough thanked
the Planning Board and Billy Liggan thanked the Town Board for all the
hard work they put into this process.
A motion was made by Councilwoman Greene to adjourn at 8:38 p.m.; seconded by Planning member Morf. Unanimous Yes vote.
Joan S. Jordan