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Pound Ridge Daily Voice serves Pound Ridge, NY
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Pound Ridge Cluster Subdivision Plan Moves Forward

POUND RIDGE, N.Y. – A plan to build a conservation/cluster subdivision on a parcel of property located at Rolling Meadow Lane and High Ridge Road has taken another small but inexorable step toward approval.

While the project has yet to be given the planning board’s preliminary approval, contingencies set forth by the town board are in the process of being met and that approval will likely happen later this month.

The planning board met this past week and announced that the town board has officially ceded its authority to approve the project to the planning board. Normally, in the case of cluster housing projects such as this one, the town board has the final say.

The property is owned by Oceanus Navigation Corp., which is led by C.C. Shu, who resides in Taiwan.

The plan proposes dividing the property up into 15 lots, 12 of which would be residential, two would be open space and one would be a storm-water parcel. Approximately 60 percent of the overall proposed subdivision would be open space. The property is located in R-2A and R-1A zoning districts.

Karen Taft, planning board administrator, said that one thing the held up the preliminary approval was that the town board has asked developers to include a 10-foot-wide conservation easement between the two open space parcels.

“The town board wants those parcels connected via an easement that runs between the lots,” she said. “That way people can hike along a path from one to another without trespassing.”

The town attorney must then review the easements. If he okays them, it will clear the way for the planning board to grant preliminary approval.

Planning board members have said there are advantages to conservation subdivisions,  such as decreased disturbance to the land, reduction of impact to wetlands, and less disturbance of buffer areas. They note that one of the open space parcels is adjacent to the Bye Preserve

“[The developers] actually purchased another piece of property so you could have access from Rolling Meadow Lane and the driveway wouldn’t be as long so there would be fewer disturbances to the land,” Taft said.

The question of who will maintain the open space parcels has also been answered.

“It will be private ownership,” Taft said. “Sometimes they’re administrated by a land trust or land conservatory or the open space committee. But they decided they didn’t want to do it that way.”

If the planning board grants preliminary approval at its Feb. 23 meeting as Taft expects, the next step would be final approval. Taft said she wasn’t sure what other requirements or requests the developers would have to meet to pass that final hurdle or how long it would take.

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