The Clarkstown Planning Board held a public hearing recently about a proposed an active adult residential community to possibly be built in Congers.
The 24.8 acre property is located on the west side of Route 303 across from Hemlock Drive. It would contain 320 units in eight buildings, all flats, with 40 units per building. It would accommodate those ages 55 and up.
The plan calls for 645 parking spaces in total, including indoor garages.
There would also be a ninth building, a community clubhouse, that residents of the proposed Orchard Ridge community could use. The complex would include an outdoor bocce court, outdoor putting green and outdoor swimming pool. There would be internal sidewalks and roads within the community.
At the meeting, representatives from the Congers Fire Department and Congers-Valley Cottage Volunteer Ambulance Corps spoke about some of their concerns with the plans so far.
The issues of the fire department, which worked with the town fire inspector’s office, were:
- access in and out of the community since it has one main road, and making sure the width of that road could accommodate the department’s apparatus.
- making sure the turning radius behind buildings is wide enough for fire department vehicles to navigate the community.
- making sure the department could have input on the placement of fire hydrants, as the placement in the current plan did not seem practical.
- making sure there would be emergency access to the three retention ponds in case someone falls in and needs to be rescued.
- making sure the height of the clubhouse overhang is large enough to fit fire trucks under.
Lawrence Hahn, second lieutenant supply of the Congers-Valley Cottage Volunteer Ambulance Corps, said his department has similar concerns to the fire department, including the height of the clubhouse overhang and the turning radius of certain spots in the community.
“Emergency vehicles are not small. We’re not as big as the fire trucks, but our vehicles are also growing in size and we have more and more demands,” he said. “There are many, many locations in not only in the town, but the county, where emergency equipment cannot gain access, so that’s a major concern that we have.”
Hahn also wondered about the interior of the buildings.
“It’s tough to comment on yet until we can get to see some of the plans. Patient access is a critical issue for us. Again, there are many locations in the town and the county where we can’t even get a stretcher to the patient, and this is just unacceptable,” he said. “We cannot provide adequate emergency medical treatment to our patients who could be in very critical concerns. We’d like to have an opportunity to look at that hallway access, the stairs and specifically the elevators.”
The only person to speak at the public hearing was Donald Feerick, a lawyer representing two businesses close to the proposed location of the community. Feerick said his clients feel they own the land lying in the bed of Old Orchard Lane between their two properties.
No decision was made about the land in question, and the public hearing will continue at the Planning Board’s Sept. 19 meeting at 8 p.m.