May 13, 2009
On Tuesday, May 12, the Village passed an updated demolition code (after 13 months of debate). We await the enforcement of this law.
“A. Designation, Abatement of Condition: All buildings or structures which are structurally unsafe, unsanitary or not provided with adequate egress, or which constitute a fire hazard or are otherwise dangerous to life, health or safety are severally, for the purpose of this section unsafe buildings.
Village Board considers 'demolition code' for a year and continues to discuss a 'fence law'
May 12, 2009
Millbrook Matters reports email correspondence between Village Attorney and Developer's Attorney
January 05, 2009
After the public hearings on the proposed Bennett Development project were closed on October 29, the Village Planning Board quickly moved to the approval stage. They held two workshops to review the comments and submissions from the public and to make a declaration regarding the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA).
The task before the Village Planning Board was to determine whether the Brickman-Blumenthal plan posed any significant fiscal or environmental impacts to the community. Although hundreds of citizens had provided research and comments regarding the potential impacts of this development over the past two years, the Village Planning Board members did not discuss these concerns at these workshops.
DEC Requests Village Planning Board Rescind Bennett Negative Declaration
Letter from The Department of Environmental Conservation
January 04, 2009
Dear Chairperson Roberts:
The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has reviewed the Village Planning Board's Negative Declaration pursuant to the State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) process for this Type I Action. This action includes a proposed subdivision to create 91 residential lots and 11 open space and right-of-way parcels and to allow construction of 82 duplex units and 9 single family homes on the site of the former Bennett College campus in the Village of Millbrook. As an involved agency, the Department respectfully requests the amendment or rescission of this Negative Declaration due to procedural errors and insufficient or erroneous information.
Village Planning Board Owes Fuller Explanation
December 09, 2008
On November 12, two weeks after holding the last public hearing, the Village of Millbrook Planning Board decided that the Blumenthal-Brickman development for 91 homes on the site of the former Bennett College campus would have no significant impacts on any of the environmental areas regulated by the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) and approved the project. This decision culminated three years of public controversy over the impacts (pro and con) that this development might have on our community.
Robert Plummer, who lives nearby, still has some concerns and unanswered questions, which he expresses here in an open letter to the Village of Millbrook Planning Board. (Editor's note: In his letter Mr. Plummer refers to the term "Positive Declaration." It is used when one or more potential impacts are identified that, under the SEQRA law, need to be looked at in more detail.)
The letter was first slated to appear in our local paper, the Round Table, but never made it into print,. We are distributing it here as part of our letters to the editor policy.
The vote is in, and there will be no Positive Declaration from the village planning board on the proposed Bennett Redevelopment project.
Village Planning Board Decides No Significant Environmental Impacts at Bennett
November 25, 2008
Within two weeks of the final public hearing on the Blumenthal-Brickman application for the redevelopment of the Bennett College site, the Village Planning Board wrapped up their environmental review.
In two workshops they filled out the two required forms for review of environmental impacts, and concluded there would be no significant adverse impacts resulting from this project. The board’s review of the project under the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) therefore came to an end with a “Neg Dec.”
The two forms they filled out, known as EAF part 2 and EAF part 3 , may be read here.
The two major steps in Sate Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA)
What's the "environment"?
Village Board discusses open meeting laws
November 18, 2008
Listen to an audio clip of the Village Board's discussion of the Open Meeting Laws, and how they may not have been correctly followed by the Planning Board during their latest public workshops on the Blumenthal-Brickman application for the development of the former Bennett College campus.
Planning Board Gives Bennett a Negative Declaration
November 13, 2008
Has the Blumenthal-Brickman Bennett Redevelopment application been given special treatment?
Here is what we believe. We encourage readers to form their own conclusions.
Former Mayor Donald Briggs was and remains a strong supporter of this project. In 2005, while still mayor, he passed a controversial zoning amendment that allowed for this type of high-density residential development on the former Bennett College campus.
Thorne Report Finds Numerous Deficiencies in Bennett Developer's Plan
October 30, 2008
Walking down Maple Avenue hill from my home last night, I was excited to see many vehicles parked at the Thorne Building. Even though it had been more than a year since the last public hearing on the Bennett application, people were still willing to come out speak out, listen and be part of the public process. Call me crazy; it made me excited!
There was a definite buzz in the anteroom just outside the auditorium.
Statement of Anthony R. Sloan to the Village Planning Board
Anthony R. Sloan
October 30, 2008
I am Anthony Sloan, a resident of the Village of Millbrook.
This book I am holding is Rural by Design by Randall Arendt. It has a direct bearing on the application you are considering.
Bennett College Redevelopment Water Supply Report
Bob Plummer, Resident, Bennett Condominiums
October 29, 2008
Chairman Roberts and Board Members;
I am no expert, but even to an amateur’s review of the development reports, there are obvious problems with the water supply proposal. Here is information, most all of it straight from the development web site, to support that view.
The project estimates water and sewer use at 27,900 gallons per day. However, this ignores the town engineer and NYS Dept of Health recommendations that the maximum daily water demand be calculated at 42,000 and 43,000 gpd.
Public Hearing on Bennett Redevelopment
October 28, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 7pm. Thorne Building A public hearing is scheduled before the Village of Millbrook Planning Board at the Thorne Building on the Blumenthal-Brickman plan for a 91-unit development on the former Bennett College campus.
Blumenthal-Brickman has submitted final (?) portions of its plan to the Village of Millbrook Planning Board, and the Planning Board has scheduled a public hearing. Copies of the plans submitted are reportedly available at Village Hall, the Library, and at www.bennettredevelopment.com.
Blumenthal is back before the Village Planning Board
October 23, 2008
October 29th, 2008
7pm at the Thorne BuildingCome find out what’s changed in his application for the development of the Bennett College site since we last heard from him in February 2007.
- Does he still propose 91 new homes on the 27.6-acre Bennett site?
- Will the homes still be priced from $499,000 to $799,000?
- Will your school taxes go up as a result of this development?
- How will the development affect your property taxes?
- Does the Blumenthal plan call for any affordable housing?
- Will the development hook up to the village sewer plant?
- Will Blumenthal and Brickman sell the project to a new developer if and when they get their approval?
- If the planning board approves this project, will approval be contingent on the developer beginning the clean-up of Halcyon Hall and reconstruction within 6 months?
- Will the village require that a performance bond be posted by the developer to assure that the developer doesn’t abandon an incomplete project, leaving the public to clean up?
- The developer claims he has earned the right to a density bonus: that is, building more homes than normally would be allowed on the property. Does his plan deserve the bonus?
- Will there be walking paths as he promised in earlier public hearings?
- Does the developer still intend to save the historic buildings–the Chapel, Hill House, and Hale House?
- How many mature trees will come down, and how many new trees will be planted?
Positive Declaration/Negative Declaration: what do they mean?
October 23, 2008
It’s a little complicated, but worth understanding....
If the lead agency (the Village Planning Board) decides that the proposed action will NOT have a significant adverse impact on the environment, the ruling is called a NEGATIVE DECLARATION. If the proposed action may have a significant adverse impact on the impact, the ruling is called a POSITIVE DECLARATION.
Positive Declarations are becoming more common in surrounding communities as they face larger and more complex development proposals than ever before. We find no records that the Village of Millbrook has ever issued a positive declaration on a development application.
Bennett Redevelopment Public Hearing: January 2007
October 17, 2008
Transcript of the public hearing on the proposed Bennett College Development held on January 4th, 2007 at the Thorne Building.
Bennett Redevelopment Public Hearing: February 2007
October 17, 2008
Transcript of the public hearing on the proposed Bennett College Development held on February 15th, 2007 at the Thorne Building.
Bennett Redevelopment Public Hearing: March 2007
October 17, 2008
Transcript of the public hearing on the proposed Bennett College Development held on March 8th, 2007 at the Thorne Building.
Public Speaks out on Bennett - Largest Development in The History of Millbrook
Millbrook Monitor Issue XIV
October 14, 2008
Millbrook Monitor coverage Jan/Feb 2007 of the proposed development at Bennett.