Traffic fears still linger for Monroe Commons plan

Monroe. Town planners also expressed concern regarding water usage demands.

Monroe /
| 24 May 2024 | 02:18

Concerns over the potential for increased traffic dominated the Monroe Planning Board’s review of the proposed Monroe Commons project during the May 21 meeting.

The planning board expressed worry over the project, which is proposed to be built on Nininger Road, bringing increased congestion to the area and potentially hindering transportation to district schools. While the representative for the applicant insisted that adequate traffic mitigation measures were provided and shared his concern that waiting for the county to weigh in would delay the project even more, the planning board was adamant that the Orange County DPW understands and approves the actions proposed to alleviate traffic concerns.

Emphasizing the importance of the nearby county roads, Planning Board Chairwoman Bonnie Franson said, “Those county roads are extremely important because they provide access to our school district complex between the middle school and the high school, and there’s a lot of development happening over there. We need to make sure that that area functions.”

Franson further shared that the county did not think the submitted traffic mitigation plans were clear and that they were looking for something conceptual that demonstrates how those mitigation efforts will be implemented. She noted that while she felt that the board was close to being able to make a determination on the project, they could not adopt a resolution until the county was satisfied with the traffic mitigation plans.

The representative for the applicant shared that his client was willing to sponsor the implementation of any mitigation plans.

“Hopefully we can expedite our conversations with the county and give them whatever assurances they’re seeking,” the representative said.

In addition to concerns about traffic, the planning board engineering consultant commented on the project’s impact on water usage, noting the need for a letter from the applicant showing they can meet the updated water demand calculations. The engineer added that anticipated demand is critical due to the inability to provide water to all applicants within the area.

Subdivision plans

At the meeting, the planning board continued its review of the proposed Meadow Hill subdivision to be located at Camp Monroe Road and Lakes Road. The engineer for the applicant reviewed revisions made based on the planning board’s previous comments, notably the relocation of the buildings to provide greater separation from the wetlands. The planning board agreed to send someone out to the site for a wetlands delineation.

The planning board engineer commented that, because Lakes Road is a scenic road, the board has discretion on what type of buffer is needed between the dwellings and the road. He further noted that in cases like these, electrical wiring is usually placed underneath the driveways. The engineer also shared that because the project consists of more than five lots, the Orange County Health Department would need to review and accept the septic systems.