POUND RIDGE, N.Y. -- Pound Ridge's Planning Board voted on Thursday to require an environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Ridge 29 housing proposal, a decision that mandates a detailed review of the project.
The oversight process by the board is pursuant to the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA), which outlines what steps to take going forward.
The Planning Board is serving as lead agency, which means it is in charge of the proposal's environmental review.
The developer, Ridge 29, LLC, will now prepare a draft scoping document. That document, which will be reviewed on the town's behalf prior to being made public, will outline which items to study for the EIS. Once the document is made public, a scoping session will be held.
The session is essentially a public hearing on the document and serves as a chance for people to provide input on what they want included in the EIS.
Janet Giris, an attorney for the developer, indicated to the board that a draft scoping document will be submitted in two weeks.
Later in the Thursday meeting, it was agreed that a special meeting will be held on June 3. Planning Board Chairman Clayton Fowler told Daily Voice that the scoping session will not be held at that meeting, but . board members intend to decide when to hold it.
The developer has already submitted studies for items that would otherwise be covered under an EIS, such as traffic and school enrollment projections.
Under SEQRA, a draft version of the EIS will eventually be submitted. Once the draft is reviewed on behalf of the town for vetting, it will be subject to a public hearing. Then, the developer will prepare and submit a final version of the EIS, which will then be subject to vetting on the town's behalf. The Planning Board will then decide whether to accept the EIS, making it truly final. If it does so, then it would vote on whether to accept the last major document for SEQRA, which is called a findings statement.
If that document is accepted, then the environmental review is finished. At that point, it would be up to the Town Board to decide whether to approve a special permit needed for the development, which consists of 43 housing units.
Previous Ridge 29 coverage is available here.