Officials in the town are evaluating a developer’s plan to erect more than 20 single-family houses on woodlands near Lake Boon as they attempt to strike a balance between environmental concerns and the possibility of forming a new neighborhood. The plan calls for dividing the number of parcels on Old County Road, which is off Main Street and borders Stow.
The Old County Road parcels 40, 50, and 60 would be divided into 22 lots for the construction of single-family homes, covering roughly 16 acres of woodlands. Environmentalists have expressed concern over the area because it borders the eastern edge of Lake Boon. The proposal, which would divide a sizable parcel of land into smaller single-family dwelling lots, is being examined by the Hudson Planning Board and Conservation Commission.
The Kattelle family, who currently owns the property, wants to sell it to a developer, Martin Reilly Real Estate. One single-family home plus a few smaller cottages that are rented are currently present on the site. Although Hudson has already surpassed the 10% affordable housing stock barrier that forbids the construction of so-called 40B developments, the proposal does not include any affordable housing.
In municipalities where less than 10% of the housing stock is classified as affordable, the state-created Chapter 40B housing programme enables developers to disregard local zoning regulations in order to build more inexpensive dwellings.
The Healthy Lake Boon Initiative, a grant-funded project that researches the current environmental conditions and prospective effects on the lake, is directed by Dan Barstow. Development in the vicinity of Old County Road, according to Barstow, is particularly difficult since it borders the lake’s fourth basin, a little inlet on the eastern side that is especially vulnerable to excessive nutrients and dangerous algae blooms.
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The area of the lake that poses the greatest risk is the fourth basin, he claimed. “The water is just 3 to 5 feet deep, and up to 50% of it is occasionally covered in algae. We’ve been worried about how development there could endanger the water by introducing too many fertilisers.
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To guarantee the security of the environment in and around the lake, the municipality has been collaborating with the developer. The developer has been willing to make concessions to the town, according to Pam Helinek, who represents the Conservation Commission as Hudson’s assistant director of planning and community development. She added that the two parties expect to continue working together.
We are glad that the developers agreed to relocate all of the septic systems outside of a 100-foot buffer zone, Helinek said. The town is also pushing for clear regulations to be established for prospective homeowners that mandate any vegetation removed within a certain radius of the shore be replaced with a plant that has been approved by the Conservation Commission to provide a similar service of shielding the water from pollutants and nutrients.
Helinek stated, “We are concerned about the buffer zones, having trees and plants that guard the water from fertilisers and herbicides, as well as guard the water area from erosion. They also give the water shade, which is significant because removing them would cause the water’s temperature to rise and its microbiology to alter, both of which would affect the habitat of the nearby fauna.
According to Helinek, the developer has consented to a 30-foot no-disturbance regulation, which permits only minor alterations to the natural landscape up to 30 feet from the coast. Additionally, due to the lake’s limited depth, it has promised to refrain from building any docks there. An inquiry for comment from the Daily News was not answered by the developer.
Lake Is Fully Developed
Since Lake Boon originally became well-known as a resort a century ago, the land around it has been gradually developed. Most of the area around the lake is developed, according to Dave Gray, an officer of the Lake Boon Association, a group of lake residents and interested parties. Due to the long history of development, not all properties have the most up-to-date standards for environmental protection; some buildings have already been constructed extremely close to the lake, and the native vegetation has long since been removed.
Some of the properties around the lake have structures that are too close to the water, but Gray claimed that keeping them would actually be more destructive now that they have been grandfathered into the regulations. The residences can be held to a more up-to-date level for environmental protection with this concept, making them better for the lake than some of the older existing properties.
Barstow added that there has been good communication with the developer and that the two parties are cooperating effectively to identify answers. They are clearly aware that there is a risk and working to lower it, which is very appreciated, he said. “Our objectives are similar. Without a doubt, they don’t want to promote houses as lakefront real estate only for the location to change into marshes after a few years.
The developer also intends to build a minor access road off Old County Road in addition to the residences. Prior to moving forward with the subdivision, the Planning Board must approve the road and the Conservation Commission must also approve the subdivision.
Helinek claimed that the applicant is redesigning its proposal at the moment and that a postponement until the September 6 Planning Board meeting has been requested and granted. In the event that the proposal is authorized, the Conservation Commission will still have the power to approve the single-family house building if it is planned to be built within 100 feet of Lake Boon.