Let the environmental process begin

| 22 Feb 2012 | 05:27

    Developer who wants to build a home in middle of Round Lake must undergo study of topography, traffic and community factors MONROE - The proposal to build a home in the middle of Round Lake Park is back on the front burner. The Town Board is the lead agency for the proposal, which means its members will make the final determination on whether an Open Development Area plan can be given to the developer, John Sorrentino. He’s looking to build a single-family home on a 6.6 acre site on the island. Since Sorrentino first announced his proposal, hundreds of residents have petitioned the town board to stop it. They told the town board at a previous meetings how they don’t want to lose the island, which is a part of the Monroe landscape and whose waters are used for boating and fishing. Before the town can make a decision, however, it has to go through a legal process. An open development area can be given to certain districts such as residential and commercial. In order to determine whether it should be allowed,. The applicant, in this case Sorrentino, has to go through the State Environmental Quality Review procedures. The Monroe Town Planning Board advised against the open development area plan. The planners determined the single-lot site did not conform with the town board’s Comprehensive Plan and turned it over to the town board, making it the lead agency. No state agency, including the Department of Conservation, challenged the town to be the lead agency. Now the developer has to go through the state environmental review procedures. Monroe Town Supervisor Sandy Leonard described the process as long and involved, requiring the hiring of experts to evaluate “significant topics including topography, visual, community, emergency access, traffic and more. It will be a very interesting process.” Sorrentino will be responsible for the expense. The public will have its say at a public hearing once the environmental review is completed. In other business • Leonard advised residents who have been receiving letters from a firm which claims it will help dispute their tax assessment - for a fee - to contact the town of Monroe’s assessor. “Our assessor will be happy to help any resident who has an issue,” she said, adding, “(And) there is no charge.” Leonard said residents also have the option of going before the town’s Grievance Board. • The town accepted the lone bid that was submitted for the purchase of a new ambulance for the Monroe Volunteer Ambulance Corps. The bid of $180,561 from Cromwell Emergency Vehicles will be subject to bid specifications. • The town was awarded a $8,000 grant from Orange and Rockland for new lighting in all town buildings. • Town Clerk Mary Ellen Beams recommended the town have a drop box installed for residents who cannot drop off payments or paperwork during working hours. She also suggested an outside bulletin board be placed outside to post meeting notices. • The town will hold two public hearings on April 25. The first will be at 7 p.m. regarding a revision of the town’s Dog Law. The second will be held at 7:15 p.m. regarding the reimbursement of the town consultants expenses. - Claudia Wysocki