On Tuesday the 24th we caught up with the Terramor Public File. This was a chance to go through all the contents from the start, and also to see what had come in since the last large submissions in early December.
The vast majority of submissions were letters in opposition to the project from individual citizens. I counted over 120 in opposition and 3 in favor (all from folks who have business relationships with Terramor in Maine). There were also many letters from the entities from whom we heard at the Terramor Public Informational session on January 17th.
2023 01 17 Stuart Auchincloss Address at Terramor Informational Session
2023 01 17 Sierra Club Address to Terramor Public Informational Session
2023 01 17 Laura Ricci address to Public Informational Session
2023 01 17 Doug Harberer address to Terramor Informational Session
2023 01 17 Catskill Mountainkeeper address to Terramor Public Informational Session
2023 01 15 Aylah Frank One fire pit letter to Saugerties PB
2023 01 06 Sierra Club letter to Saugerties PB
2023 01 06 Overlook Mountain Center letter to Saugerties PB
2022 12 19 WJC Letter to Saugerties PB
2022 12 19 Local mom and pop glamping owners letter to Saugerties PB
2022 12 19 Citizens Against Terramor letter to Saugerties PB
2022 11 15 Woodstock Day School letter to Saugerties PB
2022 11 14 Woodstock Land Conservancy letter to Saugerties PB
2022 07 11 Mark Kanter letter to Saugerties PB
2022 07 09 Dawn Greer letter to Saugerties PB
A note about these submissions to the Public File: These are public submissions and thus contain people’s emails and other identifying information. Please do not be a jerk and do not use these public submissions to harass or harm folks participating in the process. Remember the Golden Rule…
Nelson Pope Voorhis (NPV) are the Town of Saugerties Planning Department consultants. A member of their team provides guidance to the Board at each meeting and also provides comments about submissions made to the Board. These comments are intended to help the Board in its work to makes sure that development in Saugerties is rational, benefits the Town, and conforms to all applicable laws, rules, and regulations.
Previously, NPV have offered comments on each of Terramor’s submissions. The Board’s protocol requires that developers systematically address each concern raised by the Board and its consultants. Thus, the December Terramor submission (detailed here) sought to address concerns raised in the NPV comments from August 1st (here). Now we have the NPV memo about the Terramor December 6th submission. The comments were prepared for the December 20th Planning Board meeting and are dated December 14th. The memo reprises the previous commentary and adds (in bold) new comments (noted as 12/20) referencing the new Terramor submission. It’s a little tricky to navigate, but an attentive reader should soon pick up the flow. Later in the document NPV offers comments about the expanded EAF submitted for the December meeting.
Of particular note:
Page 4 of 12: The 12/20 comment reiterates a comment from 8/14 wherein NPV makes a point of pointing out severe inaccuracies in Terramor’s claims about a previously permitted subdivision on this land. They further explain that the land in question may be considered “constrained” and then go on to carefully discuss various claims made about the allowable uses.
Page 6 of 12: The 12/20 comment reiterates the comment from 8/14 about the expected demographics of the guests.
Note the revision of the Notice of Intent letter to include the Zoning board of Appeals
On December 20th, Paul Rubin, hydrologist, supplied the Saugerties Planning Board with additional analysis of the CT Male (Terramor’s well-water contractor) submission from November 6th. CT Male’s submission was a smaller part of a larger Extended EAF submission.
The new document is labelled “Appendix B: Supplement to HydroQuest December 5, 2022 report titled: Proposed Terramor Glamping Project: Hydrologic and Land Use Based Justification for Issuance of a Positive SEQRA Declaration
In short, the analysis shows that the claims made by Terramor (that there is enough water available and that neighbors’ will not be overly adversely affected by the project and its water requirements) are suspect at the least, and built on deficient data.
A very strong case is made once again for a “positive declaration” for SEQRA purposes. And that it is not yet time for a Public Hearing
Tuesday December 6th was the submission date for the December session of the Saugerties Planning Board. Yesterday we shared the submission from Terramor Catskills Saugerties. Today we share several submissions from Citizens Against Terramor.
CAT Lawyer’s letter to the Saugerties Planning Board
CAT Hydrologist’s Report about the Terramor Catskills Saugerties Glamping project (10.8MB)
CAT comments written by Stephan Maffia about the original Terramor traffic study
Comments on woodsmoke pollution written by Lorraine Farina
In early November we filed Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) requests with the Ulster County Department of Health and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The text of our request was for:
“any and all records, maps, forms, photos, permits, applications, reports, submissions, and correspondence, whether written or electronic, between (UCDOH or NYSDEC) and KOA and/or its Terramor Outdoor Resorts subsidiary, contractors, and assignees.”
These responsive records were provided on paper and dated November 15th, 2022. They have been scanned to one large pdf.
Most responsive records are emails back and forth between Terramor’s planners, CT Male Assoc., and the UCDOH. The subjects vary but mostly revolve around testing of wells on the site and on neighbors’ property. Many of the emails are part of chains and thus pose difficulties in sorting out dates and transmission flows. There are also lots of repeating elements bulking up the scans. This is a result of the way in which the responsive records are transmitted from the IT people to the FOIL officer. There is also one document we have not seen before, the Ulster County Planning Department document titled: Terramor Catskills — Special Permit and Site Plan Review
We have run OCR on the whole document, extracted relevant email threads, and edited out repeated elements like signatures, etc. We have rearranged the email threads so that they can be read chronologically from top down. Files are named by date of first email in the chain. Important note: There are some strange OCR artifacts. Consult the original .pdf for the canonical version.
These documents were provided electronically. Most are repeats of items we have seen before. There are several emails back and forth between the developers and the DEC people in charge of reviewing the items submitted so far. This is a long process and both sides take note of that.
One interesting new item here is the DEC emphasizing to the developer that the plans associated with the old South Peak subdivision development are irrelevant for the new proposal. There is also a graphic of a new location for the surface water discharge. This item is not dated, so we know little about its current status. We will try to find out.
Another catch-up post with new documents submitted to the Saugerties Planning Board. This brings us up to date on all documents submitted up until Monday August 22.
Most interesting, and relevant, is the Terramor submission with responses to the Town Consultants (NPV) comments. The NPV comments were dated at 07-11-2022 and the Terramor responses are dated 08-01-2022. This submission contains, among other things, many responses from Terramor to the NPV coments, and:
• Subdivision (lot consolidation) Application Form, surveyor’s Lot Consolidation Plan, and a separate envelope containing the subdivision application fee.
• General Site Plan Application Form – the application form submitted in July has been updated and is signed by the Applicant and by me.
• Alliance Source Testing proposal for conducting a Sound Impact Study
• Revised Water Supply and Treatment Basis of Design (BOD) Memo
• Revised Wastewater Collection and Treatment BOD Memo
• Program Information for Ducks Unlimited In Lieu Fee (ILF) Mitigation Program
• Revised FEAF Part 1
• Preliminary Construction Schedule
Finally, the submission includes revised maps which reflect Terramor’s adjustments following the Consultants’ comments.
We also have:
A letter from the lawyer hired to oppose Terramor laying out further objections to the project, emphasizing the need for a submission to the ZBA and including further comments from the environmental consultants
A letter from Terramor’s new lawyers asking for their appearance at the August Planning Board meeting to be postponed.
A letter from Terramor explaining the many ways in which they have engaged with neighbours
Here is the letter sent on August 12th by Daniel J. Tuczinski, the lawyer hired to oppose Terramor, to the Saugerties Planning Board laying out more reasons to be skeptical of Terramor’s Special Use Permit application. This letter also includes the environmental consultant’s most recent report. Daniel-J-Tuczinski-Lawyer-Letter-to-Town-of-Saugerties-Planning-Board-08-12-2022 (pdf)
And here is a gallery of all 5 pages of the letter:
And here is the text of the letter. We include it here mostly for search purposes:
VIA EMAIL and REGULAR MAIL (email@example.com)
Mr. C. Howard Post, Chairperson Town of Saugerties Planning Board
4 High Street
Saugerties, New York 12477
Re: Terramor Catskills Glamping Project Proposal
Dear Mr. Post,
As a follow up to my letter to the Board dated July 18, 2022, I am writing on behalf of my clients to provide additional information which we ask the Board to seriously consider. It is clear from the attendance at last month’s Board meeting and the concerns expressed by many members of the Saugerties and Woodstock communities, that there is substantial opposition to the Terramor Glamping Proposal (the “Project”).
An objective review of the Terramor application and the Saugerties Town Code, leads to the inevitable conclusion that this project does not fit within the MDR Moderate-Density Residential District (the “District”) in which the Project would be located. In a letter dated June 2, 2022 from the Town of Saugerties Building Inspector to the applicant’s consultant, the LA Group, suggested that the Project can be located within the District as a special permitted use. However, the Building Department has no authority or jurisdiction to make determinations such as this and apparently confused projects, as a close review of the letter suggests that he was referencing another project on another parcel called the Auto Camp which has no application to the Project. Moreover, while conceding the very ambiguous language in the Town Code in what he called transient usage (Hotels, Motels, Lodges, Camps, Short Term rentals- Air B&B’s), he referenced Descriptions # 7033 and # 7032 of OSHA’s Standard Industrial Classification (“SIC”) Manual, cited in the Town Code which classify establishments by their primary type of activity. A review of these descriptions reveal that the definitions contained therein clearly do not apply to the Project and actually prohibit its location in the District.
The concession of the Building Inspector concerning the very ambiguous language in the Code concerning the definition of Lodges, Camps and the like, reinforces the need for this matter to be referred to the Zoning Board for an interpretation as to whether this project is prohibited within the District. While the applicant has chosen to argue that its project is entitled to a Special Use Permit and Site Plan Approval under the Code definition of Lodging Places, the corresponding category of uses are narrowly defined. Case law from the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division is instructive on the procedure to be followed where there are pertinent ambiguities in a Zoning Code. In the case of Catskill Heritage Alliance, Inc. v. Crossroads Ventures, LLC, the Third Department opined that “to the extent that there were pertinent ambiguities in the zoning code, the Planning Board was obligated to request an interpretation from the Zoning Board of Appeals before rendering it’s determination.” 161 A.D. 3 1413, 1415, 77 N.Y.S. 3d 728,731 (2018).
While the definitions contained in the District regarding a Special Use Permit concerning lodging and camping are narrowly defined, the project proffered by Terramor is anything but. Terramor refers to itself as an “Outdoor Resort”, with multiple uses including 75 fixed station camping units, employee housing; lodging building which is not actually used for lodging; reception center, restaurant/bar, pavilion, and approximately 60,000 square feet of building. In short, under no reasonable interpretation does the foregoing “glamping” project fit within the applicable and narrow special use permit definitions for the District.
Beyond the legal arguments as to why the Project cannot proceed before the Planning Board at this time, there are numerous technical and environmental deficiencies which the Board needs to consider. Submitted herewith is a comment letter and report from Sterling Environmental Engineering, P.C. dated August 11, 2022 setting forth additional concerns. One of the insightful points made in the Sterling letter is that given the complexity of the application and numerous issues, the Planning Board should retain independent experts to conduct independent studies to assist it with the proper evaluation of the Project. It is not uncommon for planning boards to retain expert consultants at applicants’ expense, to assist it in assessing and reviewing the relevant issues associated with a project. While applicant has its own consultants who are presenting information to the Planning Board, they are obviously employed by Terramor whose objective is to secure the necessary approvals for its project. Accordingly, it cannot be argued that Terramor’s consultants are unbiased and independent. This was highlighted at the last Planning Board meeting when the findings and methodology employed by the Terramor traffic consultant were rightfully questioned and challenged by Planning Board members.
At the last Saugerties Planning Board meeting, the Board adopted a resolution sending out a Notice of Intent to act as lead agency in connection with the project. The involved agencies were identified by the applicant in its Environmental Assessment Form under B Government Approvals. The Town Zoning Board of Appeals is an entity listed under Government Approvals and for the reasons discussed herein, obligated to consider whether the definitions contained in the Zoning Code permit this project. However, Terramor omitted the Zoning Board of Appeals as an involved Agency whose approval (s) is required. Accordingly, a new Notice of Intent to act as lead agency should be send to the Zoning Board of Appeals at this time.
Finally, given the community concern and opposition to the Project as presently proposed, we respectfully request that the Planning Board consider the information and issues identified herein and in the Sterling Environmental letter and refer this matter to the Zoning Board of Appeals forthwith.
A copy of this letter is letter is being filed electronically with the Planning Board and being provided to all Planning Board Members for their review and consideration.
Thank you for your time and attention.
Very truly yours,
O’Connell and Aronowitz
By: Daniel J. Tuczinski
And here is the text of the most recent report from the environmental consultant
(TO:) Daniel J. Tuczinski, Esq. O’Connell & Aronowitz
Subject: Terramor Outdoor Resort, Saugerties, NY
STERLING File #2022-49
Dear Mr. Tuczinski,
Sterling Environmental Engineering, P.C. (STERLING) has the following additional comments regarding the proposed Terramor Glamping project in the Town of Saugerties, New York.
1. This is a complex application with multiple uses not expressly allowed under the zoning code. The property is zoned Moderate Density Residential (MDR) which authorizes single family residential with minimum lot size of 20,000 square feet (sf) if served with central sewers and wastewater treatment. The applicant represents that due to wetlands, steep slopes and other development constraints that only 19 acres are developable. Other uses authorized by Special Permit should not be of greater density than the single-family residential development that is of right.
2. The bulk table of the zoning code (see https://ecode360.com/attachment/SA2874/SA2874 245a%20Sch%20of%20Dist%20Use%20Reg.pdf) indicates that lodging places (including camps and RV parks), publicly operated campgrounds, and logging camps, may be authorized by Special Use permit. The Terramor project has not been demonstrated to fit into one of these categories. The project appears to present multiple uses that are not expressly authorized. It is recommended that the Planning Board obtain a Code zoning interpretation from the ZBA that the use(s) are appropriate in the MDR.
3. The complexity of the application warrants review by independent experts. It will be beneficial for the Planning Board to retain independent expertise to review the application materials and to conduct independent studies as appropriate.
Areas that the independent consultants should evaluate include the following:
• Impact to the wetlands, habitats, wildlife corridors, rare, threatened and endangered species. An evaluation should be conducted of reasonable alternatives that would be less impactful to the wetlands;
• Stormwater management, including full review by an independent stormwater expert of the Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP); and
STERLING is currently reviewing the SWPPP for the project to determine if there will be significant impacts from stormwater resulting from the project.
Additionally, the issues raised in our July 19, 2022 letter remain outstanding, including:
• A private Glamping facility is not an identified use of right. Clarity is needed to properly classify the use, which may require a referral to the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) for an interpretation. Additional information is needed to demonstrate the proposed project meets the required standards. Additionally, an opinion may be required from the ZBA due to the multiple uses proposed.
• “Glamping” is not the same as Lodge, Camp and RV Park. It is not clear that glamping is consistent with lodging places eligible for a Special Use Permit.
• The project documents provided for review do not contain an analysis supporting the proposed density of 75 camping units plus the employee housing, lodge building, reception center, restaurant/bar, pavilion, etc. Development density authorized by Special Use Permit should not be of greater density than a development of single family residences in the MDR after deducting areas of steep slopes, wetlands, floodplain, etc. Not all of the 77 acres is developable.
• The application documents do not include a business plan of the proposed development and its operations. Will the restaurant, bar, pool and other amenities be available to the public? Or will use of the facilities be restricted to the guests taking lodging at the facility? This requires clarification as it will affect the traffic projections and overall density of the development. It will also affect the water and wastewater projections.
• Some development is proposed on steep slopes. Site roadways are proposed at 9-10% grades in some locations. Road profiles indicate that 10 feet of road embankment must be constructed in a jurisdictional wetland to access the site. Alternative road configurations should be evaluated to avoid wetland disturbance.
• The Site Plan Application Form incorrectly states a building footprint of 24,672 square feet. This is not consistent based on the architectural drawings set submitted with the Site Plan which indicates a total of approximately 60,000 square feet of buildings including the 75 glamping units. The total non-pervious surfaces stated on the application form also appear incorrect. Non-pervious surfaces include all paved areas and total building footprint.
• A review of the submitted documents does not confirm that a traffic and circulation plan is provided. Further, the fire department should be consulted regarding access for emergency vehicles, parking restrictions, onsite water sources, etc.
• Regarding the plans for treatment of wastewater, a SPDES permit is needed from the NYSDEC to discharge treated effluent to the perennial stream located onsite. An analysis of the assimilative capacity of the stream to handle the wastewater discharge is necessary.
• Additional analysis is also needed on the plans for water supply, including well yield testing and water quality testing to determine final treatment requirements. PFAS and PFOA have previously been detected in these wells. The design for the source, treatment and distribution systems needs to be submitted to the UCDOH for review and approval.
• The nearest residence is approximately 200 feet from the proposed development. In consideration of the multiple uses and associated traffic, a noise study is warranted.
• Additional analysis is needed to determine potential traffic impacts, especially with regard to events if additional staff is required. Traffic study made assumptions based on typical campgrounds that did not include staff. The traffic study should be performed during typical summer months.
• The Hudson Valley Resource Mapper indicates that the development area is a known important area for rare terrestrial animals, and contains wetlands and core forest that is important for sensitive wildlife. The site requires further investigations with respect to habitat for rare, threatened and endangered species.
Please contact me if you have any questions or comments.
Very truly yours,
STERLING ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING, P.C.
Mark P. Millspaugh, P.E.
Finally, we have the revised sheets from the project. These versions of these specific sheets now supersede the sheets originally part of the initial July 1st Special Use Permit application (which you can see here). Note that these items are called “sheets” because they include architectural drawings in addition to maps. This particular set of revised sheets includes new drawings of the two types of tents proposed. Terramor-Revised-Plan-Sheets-08-01-2022 (very large 14.4 mb pdf with 14 pages)
Here is a picture of the newly revised site plan dated August 1 2022 (click through for larger version)
And here is a gallery of all the newly submitted sheets. (Note: These are only sheets which have changed in the August 1 submission)
Over the last few weeks we have visited Saugerties Town Hall and filed FOIL requests for copies of documents from the Terramor Public file. Today we have three new documents from various times during the process. We are now up to date with the Public file, at least until July 26th.
From June 30 and received by the Saugerties Planning Board on July 11th, we have a short memo from C.T. Male Associates to Terramor. This technical memorandum provides the preliminary basis of design for the water system at the proposed Terramor Outdoor Resort in Saugerties, Ulster County, New York. Water Supply Biological Oxygen Demand Report 7-1-22 (136K .pdf)
From July 8 we have Terramor’s application to the Army Corps of Engineers for a Approved JD. Here they are asking the ACOE to approve their wetlands delineation. They enumerate the number and nature of wetlands on site, which are tributaries to the waters of the US, and which are not. This is a highly technical 70 page report featuring maps and particular descriptions of various wetlands on the site. Terramor Wetlands Delineation Report and AJD Application to Army Corps (25 MB .pdf)
Finally, from July 19th we have the Saugerties Planning Board SEQRA Notice of Intent to become Lead Agency. As discussed at the July 19th meeting, the Board distributed this notice of intent the list of agencies enumerated on the third page. NOI Saugerties Planning Board – Final 7-19-22 (64 kb .pdf)
Where does Terramor’s proposed facility fit within the definition in 235-11-1? Is it a Lodge? Camp? Recreational Park?
Early in the planning process for Terramor, and pursuant to a question about the ways in which Saugerties zoning might affect the Terramor development, Alvah Weeks, the Saugerties Building Inspector and Zoning Administrator, wrote to the developers’ designers and clarified the situation as he saw it then.
This memo is dated June 6 2022 and includes a brief discussion of the AutoCamp project and the ways in which it was affected by the “pre-existing business” aspects of the zoning laws. It also discusses the particular terms about “camps” and determines that the project as proposed fitted in to the category of “Camps and Recreational Vehicle Parks”. The memo then cites parts of the zoning determined to apply here.
Here is a gallery of the Determination Memo to Terramor from Saugerties Building Inspector / Zoning Administrator:
Determination Memo to Terramor from Saugerties Building Inspector Zoning Administrator 6-2-22-page-001
Image 1 of 3
Determination Memo to Terramor from Saugerties Building Inspector Zoning Administrator 6-2-22-page-001
Here are pictures of the Determination Memo to Terramor from Saugerties Building Inspector / Zoning Administrator:
Here is the text of the Determination Memo to Terramor from Saugerties Building Inspector / Zoning Administrator Alvah Weeks. The formatting may be off and we include the text here mainly for search reasons.
— starts —
The LA GROUP Landscape Architecture and Engineering, P.C.
40 Long Alley, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Re: Where does Terramor’s proposed facility fit within the definition in 235-11-1? Is it a Lodge? Camp? Recreational Park?
The Auto Camp project was purchased as a Pre-existing business established by the original owners the Moretti Family during the beginning of Town Zoning. The Town Zoning Law was adopted in 1989 and amended said law in 2008 which includes Sub Section 245-43 “pre-existing Business”. The project was able to expand its existing usage of open space as provided in Sub Sec 245-43 Pre-existing Businesses [C] (1) (B) provided.
Although our Zoning Law is very ambiguous when it comes to transient usage (Hotels, Motels, Lodges, Camps, Short Term Rentals – Air B&B’S) and our Zoning Law Definitions and Schedule of District Use Regulations ($ 245-10) is being scrutinized and revised at this time, the Building Department has determined that the Terramor’s project is clearly defined in the Osha’s Standard Industrial Classification Manual referenced in our Zoning Law in Description # 7033 & 7032, “Camps and Recreational Vehicle Parks”. If I can be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact my desk directly at (845) 246-2800 Ext. 332.
Alvah L. Weeks, Jr. Building Inspector / Zoning Administrator
$ 245-43. Preexisting businesses.
A. This chapter is not intended to restrict the rights of businesses which were in existence at the time of completion of the list of pre-existing businesses developed after the enactment of the Zoning Law of 1989 to continue indefinitely and to expand in accord with the standards or procedures set forth below.
B. Expansion of pre-existing business. Any expansion of an existing building, erection of a new building, or increase of the lot area used by a pre existing business, as permitted within this section, shall be subject to the bulk and area standards of the most restrictive district in which the business is permitted by right in the use schedule. 2) In the event a use is only permitted subject to a special use permit, the standards of the most restrictive district in which such a permit applies shall be used. The new or expanded areas shall also comply with the parking and loading standards established for the use.
C. Procedures for expansion. Expansion of a pre-existing business in accord with the standards of this chapter is governed by the following procedures: (1) Expansion by right. A pre-existing business may expand as a matter of right to the extent set forth in this chapter. Approval of a site plan shall only be required if the expansion exceeds any of the limits set forth in this chapter. (a) The floor area used or occupied by a preexisting business at the time of enactment of this chapter may be increased by 100% or 2,000 square feet, whichever is more; (b) The open lot area used or occupied by a preexisting business at the time of enactment of this chapter may be increased by 100%; and (c) If no building existed at the time of enactment of the Zoning Law of 1989, a new building with no more than 2,000 square feet of floor area may be erected. (2) Additional expansion. Expansion in excess of the limits in Subsection C(1) shall be allowed by permission of the Zoning Board of Appeals. In making its determination, the Board shall consider the effect of such expansion on adjacent properties and the surrounding neighborhood in terms of traffic circulation, access for fire, police and emergency vehicles, and the general health, safety and welfare of nearby residences. The Board may only deny such a permit upon a finding that the expansion will have a significant adverse effect on such factors. D. Transfer of rights. All rights established in this section shall automatically be transferred to all future owners of the property on which the business is located.
Standard Industrial Classification (SIC)
Description for 7033: Recreational Vehicle Parks and Campsites
Division 1: Services | Major Group 70: Hotels, Rooming Houses, Camps, And Other Lodging Places | Industry Group 703: Camps And Recreational Vehicle Parks
7033 Recreational Vehicle Parks and Campsites Establishments primarily engaged in providing overnight or short-term sites for recreational vehicles, trailers, campers, or tents. Establishments primarily engaged in operating residential trailer parks are classified in Real Estate, Industry 6515.
Campgrounds Campsites for transients Recreational vehicle parks Trailer parks for transients
Description for 7011: Hotels and Motels
Division f: Services | Major Group 70: Hotels, Rooming Houses, Camps, And Other Lodging Places | Industry Group 701: Hotels And Motels
7011 Hotels and Motels Commercial establishments, known to the public as hotels, motor hotels, motels, or tourist courts, primarily engaged in providing lodging, or lodging and meals, for the general public. Hotels which are operated by membership organizations and open to the general public are included in this industry. Hotels operated by organizations for their members only are classified in Industry 7041. Apartment hotels are classified in Real Estate, Industry 6513; rooming and boarding houses are classified in Industry 7021; and sporting and recreational camps are classified in Industry 7032.
Auto courts Bed and breakfast inns Cabins and cottages Casino hotels Hostels Hotels, except residential Inns, furnishing food and lodging Motels Recreational hotels Resort hotels Seasonal hotels Ski lodges and resorts Tourist cabins Tourist courts
7032 Sporting and Recreational Camps Establishments primarily engaged in operating sporting and recreational camps, such as boys‘ and girls’ camps, and fishing and hunting camps. Establishments primarily engaged in operating sports instructional camps, such as baseball, basketball, football, or karate camps, and those operating day camps are classified in Industry 7999.
The Saugerties Planing Board employs outside consultants as a matter of course. The company is called Nelson Pope Voorhis and the consultant primarily concerned with Saugerties is Adriana Beltrani. You can see the consultant’s very earliest comments about Terramor from months ago here
The consultant’s July 11th report is quite technical, with many references to Town code and State laws. There is also discussion of the schedule of Planning Board actions in the process. Some questions raised were answered at the July 20th meeting (tent capacity, opening season), others remain to be answered. The developers will soon write back to the Board about specific issues raised herein.
Here is the text of the NPV Consultant’s Memo to the Saugerties Planning Board about the Teramor SUP Site Plan Application. Formatting is a little off. We add the text here mostly for search reasons.
TO: Howard Post, Planning Board Chair
Members, Saugerties Planning Board
FROM: Adriana Beltrani, AICP
Max Stach, AICP
Terramor Catskills; SBL 27.2-8-28/32.110
DATE: July 11, 2022
CC: Kevin Franke Applicant Representative
Ahmed Helmi, Applicant Representative
Becky Bertorelli, Planning Board Clerk
Alvah Weeks, Building Inspector
Dennis Larios, P.E., Town Engineer
We are in receipt of the following items:
• Determination from Alvah Weeks, Building Inspector, dated June 6, 2022;
• Cover Letter prepared by Kevin Franke, dated July 1, 2022;
• Site Plan Application not signed, dated July 1, 2022;
• Responses to NPV Sketch Plan Comments, prepared by Kevin J. Franke, dated July 1, 2022; • Site Plan Set, 86 sheets dated July 1, 2022 including:
o Boundary Survey prepared by Ausfelt & Waldruff Land Surveyors, LLP
o Landscape Plans including Existing and Proposed Conditions, Grading and Drainage, Road Profiles, Lighting, Materials and Planting Plan, prepared by the LA Group
o Architectural Drawings prepared by Design Group Collaborative
o Sewer and Water Engineering Plans Prepared by C.T. Male Associates
• Lighting Cut Sheets, 37 sheets dated July 1, 2021
• Full EAF Part 1 prepared by Kimberly White, dated July 1, 2022
• Ground Water Sampling Results prepared by ALPHA Geoscience dated December 21, 2021 • Traffic Impact Study prepared by GPI, dated June 2022
• Stormwater Pol
• Wastewater Basis of Design Report
• Water Supply Basis of Design Report
We previously reviewed additional documents, enumerated in our March 11, 2022 memorandum.
The applicant seeks site plan and special use permit approval for a 75 unit “glamping” campground including a wellness center, activity lawns, swimming pool, lodge and facility operations including a maintenance facility, golf cart storage and on-site employee housing. The project is proposed on two (2) parcels totaling 77.51 acres in the Moderate Density Residential (MDR) zoning district. The applicant proposes to gain primary access from Route 212 with emergency access via Cotton Tail Lane.
We have been as thorough as possible in our review but given the size of this submission and time allotted to review, it is likely that we may have additional comments as the planning and review process proceeds. Our comments are as follows:
Terramor Catskill July 11, 2022
1. The Lead Agency Notice of Intent for this Type I action should be circulated along with the Full EAF Part 1 form and a copy of the application. Due to the voluminous size of the application, the Board may wish to send flash drives or provide a link to the document posted online in lieu of paper copies. If so, the Lead Agency NOI should indicate how involved and interested agencies may request paper copies.
a. The Board must wait 30 days to assume Lead Agency status and proceed with SEQR review, as detailed below.
2. Ulster County Planning Board review is required. The plans and required forms should be submitted at this time.
3. The project site borders the Town Boundary with the Town of Woodstock. Pursuant to GML §239-nn, the clerk of the Town will need to receive written notice of the public hearing for this application. We suggest including the Town of Woodstock as an interested agency for SEQR review.
4. Comment or correspondence should be solicited from the following organization or agencies in addition to any others identified by the Planning Board:
a. Centerville Fire Department
b. NYS DEC regarding disturbance to wetlands and waterbodies, wastewater (SPDES), biodiversity and bulk petroleum storage
c. US ACOE for jurisdictional determination of wetlands, possible disturbance permits d. NYS DOT for curb cut permit and sight distance review
e. UC DOH/NYS DOH for public water supply and wastewater permitting, campground permitting, public swimming pool permitting
f. Town Engineer for SWPPP, water/wastewater and site plan review.
5. The Board should consider engaging with a traffic engineer to review the Traffic Impact Study.
6. The Board may wish to forward the plans, particularly the architectural drawings, to the Building Department for Building Inspector review to ensure that applicable codes are met which might relate to the site plan and layout (see comments below).
7. A public hearing will be required for special use permit review.
1. The applicant proposes to merge the two parcels as part of the application, a subdivision application will be required and should be coordinated through the Planning Board secretary.
2. The application forms must be signed by the preparer.
Planning & Zoning
3. In issuing a Special Use Permit, the Planning Board must consider the supplemental requirements set forth in the zoning code and can request additional studies or analyses to support its review. Based on our review, specific consideration of the following provisions is warranted:
a. (g) Smoke. No emission shall be permitted of a shade equal to or darker than Ringelmann Smoke Chart No. 2.
b. (h) Odors. No emission of odorous gases or other matter shall be permitted in a quantity or of a type that permits it to be detectable, other than by instrument, at the property line. c. (i) Other forms of pollution. No emission of fly ash, dust, smoke, vapors, gases or other forms of air pollution shall be permitted which can jeopardize human health, animal or vegetable life or which otherwise contributes to the deterioration of or detracts from adjacent properties. d. (o)Character and appearance. The character and appearance of the proposed use, buildings, structures, outdoor signs, and lighting shall be in general harmony with the character and appearance of the surrounding neighborhood and of the Town of Saugerties and shall not adversely affect the general welfare of the inhabitants of the Town.
e. (q) Sewage treatment and water supply. The adequacy of available sewage disposal and water supply services supporting the proposed activity or use shall be sufficient to meet the needs of the proposed activity or use. This consideration shall include, but not be limited to, the suitability of water supply and sanitary sewage facilities to accommodate the intended use and adequate means to protect surface and groundwater from pollution.
f. (s) Nuisances. The proposed use shall not be more objectionable to nearby property owners or occupants by reason of noise, fumes, vibration or lighting than would be the operations of a permitted use.
g. (v) The design of structures and the operation of the use (including hours of operation) shall ensure compatibility with surrounding uses and with the scenic and visual characteristics of the Town.
§245-11.I includes the following paraphrased considerations:
h. The Planning Board shall consider the following: Overcrowding of units; and the extent to which noise or light interferes with the use and enjoyment of surrounding properties.
4. Campsites are now proposed along the western boundary of the site which are located near to existing residences and residential lot lines. A field investigation conducted on June 7, 2022 showed these sites are clearly visible from these existing residences. While forest cover is shown on the plans as a buffer, the forest cover actually lacks significant understory, consistent with mature eastern hemlock forests. At least 7 or 8 tent sites depict fire pits situated between the tent site and the property boundary. With the proposed design, a fire is likely to be visible from the existing residences and woodsmoke (both smell and visible smoke) could carry over to adjoining residential parcels. (See below image which depicts a residential structure from a camp site proposed at the time.)
i. The applicant should suggest methods to ensure that these sites meet the above referenced special permit standards with relation to screening and buffering campsites and campfires from adjacent residences.
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5. An inventory of buildings on the site should be provided on the Project Master Plan Sheet L-2.0 indicating the name of the building, gross building square footage and/or seats, beds or maximum occupancy for staff and guests. In addition, the ‘Woody 35’ and ‘Woody 45’ sized tents should be more clearly indicated on the plans. Currently the only enumeration of the number and breakdown of campsite types is within the Water Supply BOD report. If these tents are intended to be interchangeable, the Planning Board may wish to establish limitations on the total number of the larger tent to reflect the water use/wastewater generation and traffic studies.
6. The comment response letter states that the maximum capacity of a Woody 35 tent is 6 people and for a Woody 45 tent is 8 people. This equates to a capacity of 510 guests at the facility. The Water and Wastewater Basis of Design Reports indicate that the maximum capacity of the campsites is 240, which vastly underrepresents the possible worst-case scenario.
j. It seems that these lower numbers are based on average occupancy rates from the Bar Harbor site. We question whether this Bar Harbor site is representative of the proposed site in terms of market economics and demographics.
k. We defer to the Town Engineer on what standard to design a water or wastewater system, but to meet the hard-look requirement under SEQR, a “reasonable worst-case standard” should be utilized, which would be related to full occupancy, or if full occupancy is not reasonably likely to occur, then some percentage of full occupancy that is reasonably likely to occur. The Planning Board may wish to impose an occupancy restriction based on the capacity outlined by the applicant to establish environmental determinations and/or findings, and for the wastewater and potable water facilities.
7. We question whether traffic impacts from this resort campground should be assessed as a traditional campground/RV park or as a resort hotel. We suggest that the Planning Board engage with a Traffic Engineer to review this and other traffic related questions.
8. Sheets A213, A214. The arrangement of beds for guest tents should be shown on the architectural plans, and it should be indicated whether these beds are single or bunk beds. We note that “Tent 2” (we assume this is the Woody 45 model) has two bedrooms while “Tent 1” has one bedroom. It appears that an indoor and an outdoor shower is proposed for each unit-this should be confirmed.
9. The capacity of employee housing does not match between the architectural drawings, the water and wastewater BOD reports, the comment response letter or the EAF project description. The BOD report states that 6 dorm units are proposed for 30 workers. This would require five beds per dorm building. Dorm buildings depicted on sheet A210 show 3 beds. If these represent bunk beds, then 36 employees can be accommodated with 6 to a dorm building.
l. Further, the comment response letter states that 4 structures are proposed to house 5 employees each, and 2 structures are proposed with a capacity for 4 employees each. Sheet A212 depicts the studio units with two rooms each containing a full-sized bed. We assume that these are the 2 structures proposed to house 4 employees each. Is this housing for couples only?
m. The number of Dorm and Studio units must be called out on the Master Plan Sheet L-2.0.
10. The BOD report indicates that the General Manager’s House contains bedrooms, but three bedrooms are shown on the Architectural Drawings. Are these bedrooms intended to house employees or family members? The Planning Board may wish to limit occupancy to only the manager and/or their family, especially if water and sewer usage for this building is based on a single family detached residence.
11. The number of residential and non-residential employees and/or non-employee residents should be established. The comment response letter states that 42 employees are anticipated, split into two shifts. The letter totals 28 on-site employees, while the architectural drawings and BOD report indicate up to 48 individuals could be accommodated within the dorm and studio units. This calculation does not include the General Manager’s House, as the capacity of this building is not clear (comment #8).
12. The single kitchen provided does not appear to be large enough to support between 24-42 residential employees, especially if meals are prepared individually by residents at mealtimes. Please verify that the single kitchen devoted to these employees is enough.
13. The Building Inspectors should review the site, building and floor plans to ensure compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other applicable building codes that could impact site design. We believe this may be a concern with regard to employee housing as depicted in the architectural plans.
14. We have counted 168 parking spaces. A parking calculation reflecting the maximum capacity of the resort should be included on the site plans which differentiates guest parking from employee parking. The Planning Board shall determine the appropriate number of parking spaces (245-29(a)).
15. From where will firewood be sourced? Please verify that all firewood will comply with NYS DEC requirements of 6 NYCRR 192.5.
16. Seasonality. The timing of activities and occupancy of the site must be clarified. Is the General Manager on site year-round? Are events proposed to take place during a full 12-month period or only from May October?
17. Dumpsters should be called out on the plans.
18. We note that 2-3 box truck deliveries could occur per day. Is this anticipated year-round? Where and when are these deliveries received? It appears that loading space is accommodated only at the maintenance buildings and the Lodge.
19. Is the restaurant at the lodge open to the public or to guests only?
20. While the notes sheet lists a diversity of plantings, the landscape plans indicate only the type of planting proposed (evergreen tree, deciduous tree etc). More detail should be submitted regarding landscaping given the ecological importance of the site.
21. Three (3) propane storage tanks are proposed totaling 30,000 gallons – is each tank 10,000 gallons? These should be clearly marked on the site plans. Liquid propane stored on site must demonstrate compliance with 6CRR-NY 613-4.1. The applicant should submit drawings, construction details and a narrative or correspondence with NYS DEC that demonstrates propane tanks are protective of sensitive receptors referenced in the law. (Law section linked here)
22. We defer review of the erosion and sediment control plans, grading plans, road profiles, construction details, water and wastewater concept plans and the SWPPP to the Town Engineer.
23. This is a Type I action under SEQR as more than 10 acres is proposed to be physically altered. The Board should classify the action and notice its intent to assume Lead Agency (a draft NOI is attached). The Board must allow involved agencies 30 days to contest Lead Agency before taking any further SEQR action.
24. In general, all correspondence with agencies and studies conducted should be provided to the Planning Board. This includes letters or correspondence with the NYS DEC and NYS Department of Health. The wetland delineation report should be provided along with the request for jurisdictional determination. It is typical for State agencies to provide formal letters upon receipt of the SEQR NOI.
25. The Ducks Unlimited wetland mitigation program is a new program in the State of New York. It is unclear if this program has even been authorized at this time. We request documentation from NYS DEC to confirm that this is a feasible and appropriate mitigation. The applicant should also provide the Board with additional information about the Ducks Unlimited program, and its applicability in the State of New York.
26. We have reviewed the long EAF Part 1 and have the following comments:
a. C.2.c- The project site is part of an “Important Natural Area”, within the Catskill Mountain physiographic area, Map 2, of the Open Space Plan. Further, the Open Space Vision Map calls out this physiographic area, including the project site. The response to this question should be “yes.”
b. D.2.b- We note that 19.13 acres are proposed to be disturbed. We defer to the Town Engineer and NYS DEC in the review of the SWPPP. This should be reconciled with the land cover changes indicated in Table I.1.a which indicate the reduction of only 5.0 acres of wetland and forest. Since almost the entirety of the existing site is forest and wetland it is difficult to reconcile without further explanation.
c. D.1.e- We note that the proposed project will be conducted over the course of a 14-month period. Construction phasing or sequencing should be discussed.
d. D.2.f- Regarding employee housing, clarification is needed and water/wastewater calculations must match the actual proposed accommodations on site.
e. D.2.g- Please ensure that architectural drawings match EAF. The lodge appears to be 111 feet long on plans.
f. D.2.b- See above discussion of Ducks Unlimited mitigation. In addition, part ii is left blank where the applicant proposes stream disturbances. The extent and nature of the stream disturbances should be explained, even if temporary. NYS DEC permits may be required for disturbances to the bed or banks of Class B streams, ie “protected streams.”
g. D.2.c, d- We note that the water and wastewater calculations may not be based on the maximum capacity of the facility per above comments.
i. In addition, a SPDES permit will be required from NYSDEC to discharge effluent from the proposed wastewater treatment plant into a protected, Class B stream.
ii. We note that 5 acres of impervious surface is proposed as a result of this project and defer a review of stormwater management practices to the Town Engineer.
h. D2j- The number of parking spaces does not match the number we counted on the plans, this should be confirmed (166 or 168?). Please see our comments regarding the TIS and parking above.
i. D2j- EV charging stations are proposed, these must be shown on the site plans. j. D2k- Please confirm the estimated annual electricity demand. The response is missing a zero or the comma is incorrect. A willingness to serve letter from the local utility should be provided. i. Does this calculation include the proposed EV charging stations?
k. D2o- We note that wood campfires are to be permitted at all hours. This may produce odors for more than one hour per day.
l. D2p- See above comment referencing bulk storage of liquid propane.
m. D2q- Treatments are proposed for mosquito and tick control 2-3 times per year. Information regarding the chemicals proposed, application methodologies, safety, hazards and any required permits must be provided.
n. E1h- We defer to the Town Engineer regarding water quality assessment.
o. E2h- The project site is within five miles of Big Indian Wilderness and Overlook Mountain. This response should be “yes.”
27. Based on a review of the Part 1 EAF, we have provided the Board with a draft Part 2 EAF to review. The Part 2 cannot be adopted until the Board declares Lead Agency, 30 days from circulation of the attached NOI. The Part 2 identifies the following potential impacts, to be reviewed and confirmed by the Board at the next meeting:
p. Impacts on Land
q. Impacts on Surface Water
r. Impacts on groundwater
s. Impact on Plants and Animals
t. Impact on Agricultural Resources
u. Impact on Open Space and Recreation
v. Impact on Transportation
w. Impact on Noise, Odor and Light
x. Impact on Human Health
Further Review is needed by the Planning Board to determine whether the proposed action may impact the following:
y. Consistency with Community Plans (see comment 28)
z. Consistency with Community Character (See comment 29)
28. When considering the proposed action’s consistency with Community Plans, the Board should consider whether this project is consistent with the Town of Saugerties 2020 Comprehensive Plan. In particular, NYS DEC guidance states: “How do the vision and goals described in these plans compare with various elements of the proposed project? Do any elements of the proposed project conflict with the vision, goals, and strategies outlined in any of these adopted plans?”
aa. We have attached pages from the Comprehensive Plan that enumerate recommendations related to Land Use and Development (#6), Economics (Diversify Economic Base, Goal #9) and Tourism (#13). The following are the goal statements:
i. #6: “The Town and Village support, and encourage, planning policies that promote environmentally sound development (see Glossary) in all zoning districts and are responsive to the socioeconomic needs of the communities. These two factors must be balanced. The open spaces and rural aspects of the area are not replaceable, and any development should be well thought-out and planned with the future in mind. The Comprehensive Plan also seeks to strike a balance between open space conservation and economic development as stated in the Open Space Plan.”
ii. #9: “The Town and the Village should attempt to diversify its economic base by encouraging a variety of business and employment opportunities.”
iii. #13: “Promotion of tourism will be well-planned to maximize its economic benefit to the community. Tourism is important to many town businesses. In promoting tourism and it benefits, the community must consider the potential impacts of tourism
development, such as additional parking demands, increased traffic, and pollution.”
29. When considering the proposed action’s consistency with Community Character, the Board should consider the following NYS DEC guidance:
bb. “Community character is defined by all the man-made and natural features of the area. It includes the visual character of a town, village, or city, and its visual landscape; but also includes the buildings and structures and their uses, the natural environment, activities, town services, and local policies that are in place…Changes to the type and intensity of land use, housing, public services, aesthetic quality, and to the balance between residential and commercial uses can all change community character.”
Just before the Saugerties Planning board meeting of July 19th, at which Terramor made their first presentation of their SUP application, two letters were delivered to the Board. One was from a lawyer retained by a number of local residents and neighbors to the Terramor project. The second letter was from a consultant engineer hired by the lawyer.
These letters lay out specific issues with the Terramor application as filed July 1st. The first question is whether the planned development is even permitted in this locale, SUP or not.
The lawyer’s letter asks several questions which Terramor has already given answers for. Obviously, there are plenty more. This is the start of a long process.
The letter from the engineer to the lawyer lays out several issues that come up in an initial review of the Terramor SUP application as filed July 1st. Many areas of concern are identified. This work will continue.
Here is the text of the lawyer’s letter to the Saugerties Planning Board about the Terramor SUP application:
July 18, 2022
VIA EMAIL (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Mr. C. Howard Post, Chairperson
Town of Saugerties Planning Board
4 High Street
Saugerties, New York 12477
Re: Terramor Catskills Glamping Project Proposal
Dear Mr. Post,
This office represents several residents who have serious concerns about and objections to the pending Terramor Glamping Proposal (the “Terramor Proposal”) currently pending before your Board. It is our understanding that the proposal has substantial opposition, which is not surprising as the project is inconsistent with the Town of Saugerties Zoning Code and the requirements of the MDR Moderate-Density Residential District (the “District”).
As the Board is aware, the District is intended to preserve the area’s rural environment and all the benefits that go along with that, while living relatively close to compatible and interdependent land uses where County and State highways are easily accessible. The definition of the District provides that small-scale convenience businesses designed to serve the adjacent residential population and certain cultural, educational, and recreational uses compatible with a rural environment may also be permitted, subject to conditions designed to protect the residential character of the District.
As you may be aware, the Town and Village of Saugerties Comprehensive Plan 2021 Update identified housing concerns in the MDR and LDR districts. Based upon The Town of Saugerties Open Space Plan limited build out analysis, the density permitted in the MDR and LDR districts is likely to compromise the integrity of important natural and agricultural resources, could have significant impacts on the
town’s natural resources, agricultural resources, scenic views, biodiversity, and rural and historic character. It could also result in economic impacts due to increased costs of services to town taxpayers. See Town and Village of Saugerties Comprehensive Plan 2021 Update
The Terramor Proposal is clearly a threat to the density permitted within the MDR district. According to the Terramor Full Environmental Assessment Form, the Terramor Proposal seeks a permit for a 75-tent glamping campground. These are not ordinary tents that are temporary in nature and can easily be taken down, but rather tents constructed of hard and soft canvas materials situated on a wooden foundation or platform that are permanent in nature. These tents are luxury dwelling analogous to mobile homes, not to be confused with recreational vehicles. The tents will have running water, septic and electricity and are designed to be permanent structures. The Terramor Proposal also proposes multiple additional permanent structures consisting of a proposed lodge that will provide food and beverage services for resort guests, not housing; a swimming pool area; an event lawn pavilion; a wellness tent; a manager’s residence; multiple-family homes for employee housing; and several parking lots. All in all, there will be approximately 90 permanent structures constructed on the premises, which will service up to 480 people on site at a time. In addition to camping activities, the Terramor Proposal’s proponents have proposed to use the site as a venue for weddings and special events.
The sheer size, scope and multiple uses of the Terramor Proposal are inconsistent with the nature of the MDR Moderate-Density Residential District and the concerns expressed in the Comprehensive Plan 2021 Update. As the Board is aware, the projects outlined in the Terramor Proposal are not permitted uses within the MDR Moderate-Density District. As a result, Terramor has applied for a Special Use Permit and Site Plan Approval pursuant to the Town of Saugerties Schedule of District Use Regulations, under Lodging Places. Therein, Lodging Places is defined as having a lodge (50 maximum units), camps and recreational parks. Neither lodge or camps are defined, nor does the Special Permit definition associated with lodging places permit the multitude of structures, improvements and uses of the premises proposed by Terramor. In addition, nowhere in the Code, is there specific support for 75 permanent tents in the MDR Moderate-Density Zone. The number appears to be arbitrary and given the limits of 50 on the number of units for a Lodge, appears to be unwarranted and unauthorized. Indeed, given the definition of lodge under the Zoning Code, it is doubtful that the nonresidential structure called a lodge by Terramor satisfies
the definition of lodge under the Zoning Code.
While Terramor may argue that the additional structures and uses are accessory uses as defined in the Code, that argument is similarly without merit. The definitions of accessory uses are as follows: “Accessory use customarily incident to any uses listed herein, and on the same lot” and “Accessory use customarily incident to any of the uses listed herein, and NOT on the same lot.” Multiple residential buildings, a wellness tent, a swimming pool and wedding and special event venues, along with the multiple uses of the premises as proposed by Terramor, do not satisfy the definition of accessory use under the Saugerties Zoning Code.
In applying the Town Zoning Law to the Terramor Proposal, its application for a site plan approval and special use permit must be denied. At a minimum, given the serious questions as to whether Terramor’s application satisfies the requirements for a Special Use Permit (including whether the multiple structures and uses satisfy the definition of Accessory use) the application must be referred to the Zoning Board of Appeals for a determination before the application can proceed with Planning Board review.
In addition to the legal infirmities and questions as set forth above, there are numerous engineering and development shortcomings and issues which require a hard look at Terramor’s Proposal. Submitted along with this letter is correspondence from Sterling Environmental
Engineering, P.C. and principal Mark Millspaugh, detailing those concerns. As explained in Mr. Millspaugh’s analysis, a substantial amount of information is missing from the Terramor proposal and needs to be provided. Multiple approvals from multiple agencies are required, and thorough and detailed information must be provided by Terramor. Mr. Millspaugh has itemized missing information and items which need to be provided by Terramor, along with areas of concern for the Board’s consideration.
Given the lack of satisfactory information, we reserve the right to submit further comments and analysis once the missing information is received.
A copy of this letter is being submitted electronically to all Planning Board Members for their review and consideration as well.
Very truly yours,
O’Connell and Aronowitz
By : _________________
Daniel J. Tuczinski
And here is the letter from the engineer
July 19, 2022
Daniel J. Tuczinski, Esq. O’Connell & Aronowitz 54 State Street, 9th Floor Albany, New York 12207
Subject: Terramor Outdoor Resort, Saugerties, NY STERLING File #2022-49
Dear Mr. Tuczinski,
Sterling Environmental Engineering, P.C. (STERLING) has initiated a preliminary review of the Site Plan Application documents provided in support of the proposed Terramor Glamping project in the Town of Saugerties, New York. We offer the following preliminary comments.
The proposed development is on two contiguous parcels totaling approximately 77 acres. The parcels will be combined into a single parcel in the MDR zone. The Zoning Code establishes permissible uses in the zone as set forth in the Schedule of Permittable Uses. A private Glamping facility is not an identified use of right. Lodging Places including “camps” are allowed subject to a Special Use Permit. This project as proposed appears to have multiple uses (i.e., a lodge with a restaurant, 75 camp sites, a house, employee dormitories). Clarity is needed to properly classify the use. Such may require a referral to the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) for an interpretation. In addition to the general standards for Special Use Permits in §245-34, special standards for this use, described in §245-11, shall also be considered by the Planning Board in determining whether or not to grant the Special Use Permit. Additional information is needed to demonstrate the proposed project meets the required standards.
The term “camp” is not defined in the Code nor are minimum standards provided for this type of multiple use facility. Design standards need to be considered for density of development, layout, occupancy, etc.
The project documents provided for review do not contain an analysis supporting the proposed density of 75 camping units plus the employee housing, lodge building, reception center, restaurant/bar, pavilion, etc. Accordingly, we were not able to confirm the proposed development density is consistent within the MDR zone and the Town Comprehensive Plan.
The application does not contain an analysis of development constraints to support the proposed density of development. Development density authorized by Special Use Permit should not be of greater density than a development of single family residences in the MDR after deducting areas of steep slopes, wetlands, floodplain, etc. Not all of the 77 acres is developable.
The application documents do not include a business plan of the proposed development and its operations. Will the restaurant, bar, pool and other amenities be available to the public? Or will use of the facilities be restricted to the guests taking lodging at the facility? This requires clarification as it will affect the traffic projections and overall density of the development. It will also affect the water and wastewater projections.
Similarly, more information is needed on the nature of events to be held. Will events be limited only to the glamping guests? Or will day passes be issued to non campers to attend events?
Some development is proposed on steep slopes. Site roadways are proposed at 9-10% grades in some locations. Road profiles indicate that 10 feet of road embankment must be constructed in a jurisdictional wetland to access the site.Alternative road configurations should be evaluated to avoid wetland disturbance.
Site Plan Application Form:
The Site Plan Application Form incorrectly states a building footprint of 24,672 square feet. This is not consistent based on the architectural drawings set submitted with the Site Plan which indicates a total of approximately 60,000 square feet of buildings including the 75 glamping units. The total non-pervious surfaces stated on the application form also appear incorrect. Non-pervious surfaces include all paved areas and total building footprint.
Required Permits and Approvals:
Additional permitting and approvals are needed as follows: o Special Use Permit
Water and Wastewater permits needed from NYSDEC and UCDOH
NYSDEC and ACOE permits for stream disturbance and wetland Jurisdictional Determination
NYSDOT curb cut permit and sight distance review o SPDES discharge permit
SPDES construction general permit (Note: Coverage is not gained until all other permits and approvals are issued).
Additionally, an opinion may be required from the ZBA due to the multiple uses proposed. “Glamping” is not the same as Lodge, Camp and RV Park. It is not clear that glamping is consistent with lodging places eligible for a Special Use Permit.
Site Plan review pursuant to §245-33.C requires:
Grading and drainage plan including areas of disturbance; o Building plans, elevations and materials;
Location,type and screening details ofwaste disposalcontainers and outdoorstorage areas; o Traffic and circulation pattern, including pedestrian, golf cart, delivery and emergency vehicle circulation;
Stormwater management plan; o Sign plan; and
A review of the submitted documents does not confirm that a traffic and circulation plan is provided. Further, the fire department should be consulted regarding access for emergency vehicles, parking restrictions, onsite water sources, etc.
Regarding the plans for treatment of wastewater, a SPDES permit is needed from the NYSDEC to discharge treated effluent to the perennial stream located onsite. An analysis of the assimilative capacity of the stream to handle the wastewater discharge is necessary.
Additional analysis is also needed on the plans for water supply, including well yield testing and water quality testing to determine final treatment requirements. PFAS and PFOA have previously been detected in these wells. The design for the source, treatment and distribution systems needs to be submitted to the UCDOH for review and approval.
In addition to the above issues, the following additional items will need to be evaluated in accordance with SEQRA to determine potential significant environmental impacts.
The following items will contribute to noise impacts, as the nearest residence is approximately 200 feet from the proposed development:
Restaurant use on site
In consideration of the multiple uses and associated traffic, a noise study is warranted.
Recommendations to improve sight distance to the south include tree trimming and clearing south of the proposed site, shifting the 45-mph speed zone transition located near the site to a point 1,500 feet south of the site, and the installation of a radar speed feedback sign northbound in advance of the site. Additional analysis is needed to determine potential traffic impacts, especially with regard to events if additional staff is required. Traffic study made assumptions based on typical campgrounds that did not include staff.
Alternative designs should be considered to reduce impacts to the jurisdictional wetland.
The Hudson Valley Resource Mapper indicates that the development area is a known important area for rare terrestrial animals, and contains wetlands and core forest that is important for sensitive wildlife.
The site requires further investigations with respect to habitat for rare, threatened and endangered species.
Air Quality, Odors:
Wood campfires at the site will potentially negatively impact air quality at residences proximal to the site.
Impacts regarding solid waste will need evaluation. Measures should be considered to bear-proof onsite waste containers.
Fire, Police, Emergency Medical Services:
Impacts to these services need to be evaluated. Local officials must confirm that access is appropriate for emergency response.
Stormwater Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP):
The document provided to STERLING is incomplete. We will provide comments on the SWPPP separately.
Please contact me if you have any questions or comments.
Very truly yours,
STERLING ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING, P.C.
Mark P. Millspaugh, P.E. President
As part of their submission to the Saugerties Planning Board, most of which can be seen here, Terramor was required to submit an SWPPP (Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan). This is a very large document laying out all sorts of details of how the Terramor Catskills glamping project proposes to deal with water runoff from their development. This is an initial submission of the plan and will be examined by the Town engineer.
The SWPPP also contains extensive details of how construction will go, best practices for ponds, sediment control, etc. etc. etc. There is also a negative declaration from the State, saying that the site does not contain historical artifacts or areas of architectural importance. There is also a map showing that the terrain is not home to endangered species or an area of biological importance (although there is no letter indicating that).
For an idea of how complex this document is, here a few of the several pages showing tables of contents of a few sections:
Here are component parts of the first several sections of the report:
Pages 1 to 22 Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan Including the following sections:
Table of Contents
1.0 PERMIT OVERVIEW AND REQUIREMENTS
1.1 PERMIT OVERVIEW
2.0 SWPPP REVIEW, UPDATE
2.1 SWPPP REVIEW
2.2 SWPPP UPDATE
3.0 SITE ASSESSMENT, EVALUATION AND PLANNING
3.1 PROJECT LOCATION
3.2 PRE-DEVELOPMENT CONDITIONS
3.3 PROJECT TYPE
3.4 PROJECT SCOPE
3.5 HISTORIC PRESERVATION DETERMINATION
3.6 RECEIVING WATERS
4.0 EROSION AND SEDIMENT CONTROL
4.1 EROSION AND SEDIMENT CONTROL PRACTICES
4.2 EROSION AND SEDIMENT CONTROL DRAWINGS
4.3 CONSTRUCTION PHASING PLAN AND SEQUENCE OF OPERATIONS
4.4 EROSION AND SEDIMENT CONTROL PRACTICE MAINTENANCE
4.5 EROSION AND SEDIMENT CONTROL INSPECTION
4.6 CONTRACTOR SEQUENCE FORM
5.0 POST CONSTRUCTION STORMWATER MANAGEMENT PRACTICES
5.1 STORMWATER MANAGEMENT CONTROLS
5.2 GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE PRACTICES/RUNOFF REDUCTION TECHNIQUES
5.3 POST CONSTRUCTION STORMWATER MANAGEMENT D RAWINGS
5.4 HYDRAULIC AND HYDROLOGIC ANALYSIS
5.5 COMPARISON OF PRE AND POST CONSTRUCTION STORMWATER RUNOFF
6.0 POST CONSTRUCTION STORMWATER MAINTENANCE
6.1 MAINTENANCE TO BE PERFORMED
7.0 CONSTRUCTION WASTE
8.0 OFFSITE VEHICLE TRACKING
9.0 TEMPORARY STABILIZATION FOR FROZEN CONDITIONS
10.0 SPILL PREVENTION PRACTICES ——- Pages 33 to 46 – Notice of Intent ——- Pages 49 to 63 Stormwater Management Report Including the following sections:
2.0 PROJECT DESCRIPTION
2.1 SITE LOCATION
2.2 PROJECT DESCRIPTION
2.3 SOIL CONDITIONS/SOIL TESTING
2.4 CURVE NUMBERS AND RAINFALL DATA
3.0 EXISTING CONDITIONS
4.0 PROPOSED CONDITIONS
5.0 NYSDEC DESIGN CRITERIA
5.1 SITE P LANNING TO PRESERVE NATURAL F EATURES
5.2 WATER QUALITY VOLUME (WQV)
5.3 RUNOFF REDUCTION VOLUME (RRV)
5.4 CHANNEL PROTECTION VOLUME (CPV)
5.5 OVERBANK FLOOD (QP) AND EXTREME FLOOD (QF) ATTENUATION
6.0 PROPOSED STORMWATER FACILITIES
7.0 POST-CONSTRUCTION MAINTENANCE REQUIREMENTS
Here are the documents submitted to the Saugerties Planning Board by Terramor Catskills Resort. These were submitted by the July 5th deadline for the July 19th Planning Board meeting.
The submission consists of 10 documents, 8 of which are contained here. We hope to add the final two documents later. one of the missing documents (#1) is a cover letter, and thus not so important. The other missing document (#8) is a large SWPPP (Stormwater Management) document which we hope to access soon.
These documents form the first basis for the Saugerties Planning Board to examine the development. The Board will also have input from their own Town Planner, consultants, and various other agencies. This is the beginning of a very long process.
Interested parties can use these documents to send letters to the Planning Board addressing technical (and philosophical) issues raised by the Terramor project, including potential claims of the trouble with Terramor over development.
Edit: the title of this post should probably read “KOA/Terramor have made their first formal APPROACH to Saugerties Planning Board – Public file documents within”. Application may be too formal of a word in this particular context.
On March 15th 2022 KOA/Terramor made their first formal appearance in front of the Saugerties Planning Board. As of this writing (Friday March 25th 2022), draft minutes of the meeting were not yet available. Prior to the meeting, Terramor submitted initial documents about the proposed glamping operation in West Saugerties / Shultis Corners to the Board. These documents included:
General Site Plan Application
Short EAF which includes:
Preliminary Traffic Assessment
Ground Water Sampling Results
Letter from SHPO
Existing Conditions and Sketch Plan
Boundary Survey prepared
Character photos, Bar Harbor, Maine Facility
In addition to the above items from the developer, the public file also includes a 5 page memo from the Planning Board consultants and the Boards own declaration of lead agency.
The most interest part of the whole public file is the memo from the consultants (pictured below). It includes many notes about issues raised by the project and the application. It also takes care to draw attention to a few shortcomings of the initial submission and mentions missing or yet to be submitted articles.