DURHAM — A public hearing is expected to be scheduled for late August for the proposed Bosque housing development in Cornwallville.
The town council discussed at the July 6 meeting scheduling a public hearing for the project. The date and location of the hearing have not been finalized, but Aug. 30 or 31 is the tentative date when the public will be invited to speak on the project.
“I feel that we are getting to the point that having input from the public will be of benefit,” Town Supervisor Shawn Marriott said.
The hearing would likely not be scheduled for the same evening as a regular town meeting or workshop, Marriott said.
“I don’t think that we are going to be able to have a board meeting and have a public hearing on the same night,” he said. “I don’t foresee that happening.”
With heavy opposition to the project since it was proposed, the hearing is expected to draw a crowd. Possible locations for the hearing could include the town highway garage or the former elementary school, Marriott said.
Engineers for Bosque Development LLC of Hudson and the town’s engineers from Lamont Engineers in Cobleskill, have been working out details of the project.
“We are close to the engineers being on the same page,” Marriott said.
Opponents to the proposal in June voiced concerns that the project is not ready for a public hearing at this time. Marriott said Tuesday that a hearing is one part of the review process.
“Any public hearing does not mean that we close the public hearing that night because we will probably have to have a second one as well,” Marriott said. “But I want to give an opportunity for people to be able to speak. The public hearing is not the end of the process, but it gives us the chance, if there are any other legitimate concerns that have to be addressed, that we are able to do it.”
Holding the hearing at the end of August would also give people in the community the chance to fully review the paperwork the developer has filed with the town. In June, the company submitted an additional 1,000 pages of reports for the town to review.
“Aug. 30, I would think, gives everybody the chance to review the paperwork that we just got and also gives the chance to give a rebuttal to comments of the town engineers as well,” Marriott said at the July meeting.
The town council is expected to finalize the details of the public hearing, including the date, time and location, at the July 20 meeting.
Town attorney Tal Rappleyea noted certain requirements must be met before a public hearing should be held.
“By having a public hearing, we are making a statement that the application is complete because there are certain benchmarks that we have to hit to have a public hearing,” Rappleyea said. “One of those is to complete the SEQRA (State Environmental Quality Review Act) and have a complete application. We should at a minimum begin the SEQRA review and make a determination, if you think it is appropriate.”
The board is expected to address those concerns at meetings prior to the expected public hearing in late August.
The Bosque Development project, if approved, would build 13 homes and one farm lot with a barn on 95 acres in the vicinity of Cornwallville and Strong roads in the historic hamlet.